chuck·​le | \ˈchə-kᵊl \
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 \ -​səm \ adjective
chucklingly \ -​iŋ-​lē \ 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

The roundabout way would have to involve a joke—something like Oh-don’t-think-all-of-us-look-the-same—and the man would have laughed and the woman would have laughed and the chef would have chuckled. Weike Wang, The New Yorker, "Omakase," 6 June 2018 During the fly-past that caps off the annual event, a giddy Prince George was chuckling and pointing skyward. Ashley Hoffman, Time, "Hammy Girl Who Shut Prince George Up at the Trooping the Colour Is the One True Queen of the Day," 9 June 2018 Asked if there were any other notable areas - aside from spending, immigration and trade - where Trump had significantly remade the party, Flake chuckled. Author: Ashley Parker, Anchorage Daily News, "The GOP platform's ruling plank: Trumpism," 25 Mar. 2018 Owen, who takes on the John Lennon role, chuckles when talking about the times fans tell him how Classical Mystery Tour has changed their mind about the Beatles. Chris Gray, Houston Chronicle, "Classical Mystery Tour dresses up Fab Four in tuxes and tails," 3 July 2018 James didn’t look at Stephenson, but started to shake his head in disbelief and chuckled. Jordan Guskey, Indianapolis Star, "Lance Stephenson: The best and worst of his Indiana Pacers career," 25 June 2018 This drew chuckles from a group that has its share of maladies: half of those in the semicircle for the meeting were using wheelchairs or walkers. John Hanc, New York Times, "86 and Opening Closet Doors at the Hebrew Home," 21 June 2018 Many chuckled at Celtics burly forward Marcus Morris for speaking with confidence when asked about his past defense against James. Chris Fedor,, "Cleveland Cavaliers get another taste of Indiana Pacers' blueprint, as Boston Celtics copy it en route to Game 1 blowout," 14 May 2018 Then chuckled with a hint of uncertainty stuck in his throat. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Final Four: Michigan's John Beilein has hope vs. holy Sister Jean," 31 Mar. 2018

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

Statistics for chuckle

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chuckle

The first known use of chuckle was circa 1770

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for chuckle



English Language Learners Definition of chuckle

: to laugh in a quiet way


chuck·​le | \ˈchə-kəl \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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