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

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Other Words from chuckle

chuckle noun
chucklesome \ ˈchə-​kᵊl-​səm \ adjective
chucklingly \ ˈchə-​kᵊl-​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

That prompted chuckles that rang from the vaulted arches inside the Washington National Cathedral. Deb Riechmann, The Seattle Times, "Memories of Bush humor brought smiles to sorrowful farewell," 5 Dec. 2018 Bear has been working for himself as a professional musician for nearly a decade, having studied graphic design in school; freelancers and office workers alike will chuckle at his compact desk space and exercise ball turned chair. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Watch Toro y Moi Embrace Normcore Style (Including Tevas!) in His New Music Video," 23 Oct. 2018 Watch The Black Eyed Peas singer's two-and-a-half-minute version was met with derision, chuckles and outright laughter. Geoffrey C. Arnold,, "Watch: Pop singer Fergie's disastrous national anthem during NBA All-Star game," 19 Feb. 2018 The audience — which included many leaders from other countries who were listening to a translation through headphones — began to chuckle. Nasser Karimi, Fox News, "Iran's Rouhani: US headed into isolation after UN meeting," 27 Sep. 2018 Jenner chuckled and refused to answer the question. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Is Kris Jenner Engaged To Corey Gamble?," 8 Aug. 2018 At one point, some of the saltier remarks caused Brennan to chuckle with mild embarrassment and drop his napkin over my iPhone, which was recording the conversation. Mattathias Schwartz, New York Times, "A Spymaster Steps Out of the Shadows," 27 June 2018 Folks stuck on Interstate 77 in North Carolina this morning, for instance, can at least spend a few seconds of their gridlock experience to chuckle to themselves about how the culprit is none other than 25 tons of potatoes. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "25-Ton Spud Spill Closes North Carolina Highway," 6 May 2016 And in one section, Ginsburg chuckles while watching McKinnon’s impression of her on SNL. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Watch: Kate McKinnon’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg “Gins-burns” Kavanaugh on SNL," 30 Sep. 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.

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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

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Statistics for chuckle

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chuckle

The first known use of chuckle was circa 1770

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on chuckle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with chuckle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chuckle

Spanish Central: Translation of chuckle

Nglish: Translation of chuckle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chuckle for Arabic Speakers

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