chor·​tle | \ ˈchȯr-tᵊl How to pronounce chortle (audio) \
chortled; chortling\ ˈchȯrt-​liŋ How to pronounce chortle (audio) , ˈchȯr-​tᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of chortle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to sing or chant exultantly he chortled in his joy— Lewis Carroll
2 : to laugh or chuckle especially when amused or pleased She chortled with delight.

transitive verb

: to say or sing with a chortling intonation "… nothing whatever to worry about," he chortled merrily.— Kevin Myers


plural chortles

Definition of chortle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a laugh or chuckle expressing pleasure or amusement a chortle of delight I hear a catbird's bubbling notes, sounding like the bird is half strangling itself to get them out, the rapid-tonguing chortle of a red-bellied woodpecker…— John P. Wiley Jr. The grin escalates into a chuckle, the chuckle to a chortle.— Robert Palm

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Other Words from chortle


chortler \ ˈchȯrt-​lər How to pronounce chortle (audio) , ˈchȯr-​tᵊl-​ər \ noun

Examples of chortle in a Sentence

Verb He chortled, “You're going to love this.” audiences might chortle gently during the movie's amusing bits, but there are few knee-slappers
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb It’s not every day that an American president and a foreign dictator chortle together over the IQ of an American former vice president. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "Trump and Dictators," 20 Oct. 2020 So, yes, by all means chortle and smirk online at the consensual private trespasses of Jerry Falwell Jr., yet another great Protestant hypocrite laid low. Chris Lehmann, The New Republic, "Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Filthy, Predatory Finances," 25 Aug. 2020 My year-old daughter is chortling, making silly faces with my mom. Bridget Shirvell, New York Times, "When the Grandparents Don’t Visit," 17 Apr. 2020 There are a host of other chortling jack-o-lanterns as well, usually including an enormous one shooting flames from the top of its roasting head, an effect created by soaking toilet paper rolls in kerosene. M. Carrie Allan, Washington Post, "How to concoct frighteningly good Halloween cocktails," 17 Oct. 2019 Klobuchar contrasted her big picture talk with stories of her family’s humble roots — her grandfather was a miner, who used a coffee can to save for her father’s future — and kept the crowd chortling with jokes. NBC News, "Iowa caucuses: Klobuchar puts Trump's impeachment trial at center of high-stakes closing pitch," 3 Feb. 2020 Strong reactions to the 2019 musical should be evident over the next seven days at Birmingham’s Sidewalk Film Center and Cinema, during nine screenings that encourage audience members to heckle, chortle and sing along. Mary Colurso |, al, "Want to make fun of ‘Cats’? It’s OK to hiss at Sidewalk Cinema," 24 Jan. 2020 That’s what the running game has brought to the offense, which had started to chortle and choke through various stretches of the season. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals' offense under Kingsbury looks more like 'Ground Raid' than 'Air Raid'," 24 Dec. 2019 Meanwhile, the pirate Blackbeard will be chortling from beyond the grave, laughing at the very notion of property ownership, intellectual or otherwise. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The pirate Blackbeard is laughing in his grave over a SCOTUS copyright case," 2 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chortle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of chortle


1871, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1891, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chortle


probably blend of chuckle and snort

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Time Traveler for chortle

Time Traveler

The first known use of chortle was in 1871

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Cite this Entry

“Chortle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for chortle



English Language Learners Definition of chortle

: to laugh because you are amused or pleased by something


chor·​tle | \ ˈchȯr-tᵊl How to pronounce chortle (audio) \
chortled; chortling

Kids Definition of chortle

: to chuckle in amusement or joy He chortled with delight.

More from Merriam-Webster on chortle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chortle

Nglish: Translation of chortle for Spanish Speakers

Comments on chortle

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