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

Definition of chuckle

intransitive verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from chuckle

chuckle noun
chucklesome \ ˈchə-​kᵊl-​səm How to pronounce chuckle (audio) \ adjective
chucklingly \ ˈchə-​kᵊl-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce chuckle (audio) \ 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 She’ll chuckle, shrug and jokingly blame it on the wind. Greg Riddle, Dallas News, "2021 UIL state track and field: Big comebacks help newcomers claim titles; Mesquite Poteet hurdler completes perfect season," 7 May 2021 That came through when members of the organization couldn’t help but chuckle while talking to recently about the lengthy injury list heading into Monday’s game against the Toronto Raptors. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers’ late-season losses pushing them closer to what they need most," 29 Apr. 2021 Three months later, Campbell, now the Pac-12 freshman/newcomer of the year and the first UCLA freshman to win an individual conference title since Kyla Ross, can chuckle at the mishap. Thuc Nhi Nguyen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "‘The ultimate Bruin’: How UCLA gymnastics helped lift Chae Campbell to NCAA championships," 15 Apr. 2021 While more than a million people in Kentucky have filed for unemployment since the pandemic hit, McConnell may just continue to take vacations and chuckle it off. Elly Belle,, "Watch Mitch McConnell Laugh About Doing Nothing To Help Millions Of Suffering Americans," 13 Oct. 2020 As Sexton’s 3-point bombs continued to bury Brooklyn late, Irving couldn’t help but chuckle and smile. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Collin Sexton changing narrative, becoming cornerstone of Cleveland Cavaliers’ rebuild: ‘He’s not a regular NBA player’," 21 Jan. 2021 How very French, their British cousins might chuckle. The Economist, "Accent discrimination betrays a small mind," 12 Dec. 2020 Americans can chuckle, but the Taiwanese bring a Confucian sensibility to the madness. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Black Friday Is Big in Taiwan, but Why?," 27 Nov. 2020 Of course, this is a conversation where both Doug McFadden and Allen can look back and chuckle a bit. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "IU football's Micah McFadden is the exact under-the-radar talent Hoosiers need," 21 Nov. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of chuckle

circa 1770, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chuckle

probably frequentative of chuck entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chuckle

Time Traveler for chuckle

Time Traveler

The first known use of chuckle was circa 1770

See more words from the same year

Statistics for chuckle

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chuckle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for chuckle



English Language Learners Definition of chuckle

: to laugh in a quiet way


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

Kids Definition of chuckle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to laugh in a quiet way



Kids Definition of chuckle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a low quiet laugh

Comments on chuckle

What made you want to look up chuckle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!