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 After an excruciating loss in Chicago one night, Starr couldn’t help but chuckle. Dom Amore, Hartford Courant, 29 June 2024 By Spencer Nusbaum Listen 5 min Share Comment Save Before all this came about, Washington Nationals Manager Dave Martinez sat at a wooden desk in the visitors’ clubhouse in Denver and chuckled at the premise of a question. Spencer Nusbaum, Washington Post, 27 June 2024 Stevens and costar Will Catlett chuckle at the joke. Benjamin Vanhoose, Peoplemag, 25 June 2024 Ustinov often seems to be amiably chuckling his way through all these murders. Bethy Squires, Vulture, 2 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for chuckle 

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 21 Jul. 2024.

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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