chuck·​le ˈchə-kᵊl How to pronounce chuckle (audio)
chuckled; chuckling; chuckles

intransitive verb

: to laugh inwardly or quietly
He chuckled as he read the comic strip.
: to make a continuous gentle sound resembling suppressed (see suppress sense 5a) mirth
the clear bright water chuckled over gravelB. A. Williams

transitive verb

: to utter with a chuckle
Templeton grinned. "I'll tend to this," he chuckled. He took Wilbur's tail in his mouth and bit it … . The pain revived Wilbur.E. B. White
chuckle noun
chucklesome adjective
chucklingly adverb

Examples of chuckle in a Sentence

She chuckled at the memory of what he had said. everyone dutifully chuckled at the professor's intended jokes
Recent Examples on the Web Inside the offices, a line of people in suits are gathering on the second floor, looking through the windows and down at protesters, some shaking their heads and chuckling. Justine Calma, The Verge, 14 Sep. 2023 Each time, patrons embraced his mix-ups and chuckled along with him. Julia Mio Inuma, Washington Post, 19 Sep. 2023 The chuckling mood was all-forgiving but the playfulness sometimes felt like one-way traffic. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 18 Sep. 2023 Thursday, when asked about the Patriots’ opponent this Sunday, Smith-Schuster again couldn’t stop chuckling. Ben Volin,, 10 Sep. 2023 Mike chuckled appreciatively when told of Bigot’s comments. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Aug. 2023 At the time of the interview, the Clientele had yet to begin its current tour, and MacLean chuckled when asked how the three-piece band would play its complicated new material live. Olivia McCormack, Washington Post, 10 Aug. 2023 Asked about his first impression of the new American guitar sensation, Miller chuckles. USA TODAY, 25 Aug. 2023 When Amazon rolled out Fire TV in April 2014, the adult entertainment industry chuckled. Bychris Morris, Fortune, 17 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chuckle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


probably frequentative of chuck entry 1

First Known Use

circa 1770, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of chuckle was circa 1770

Dictionary Entries Near chuckle

Cite this Entry

“Chuckle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


chuck·​le ˈchək-əl How to pronounce chuckle (audio)
chuckled; chuckling
: to laugh in a quiet way
chuckle noun

More from Merriam-Webster on chuckle

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