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

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Other Words from chuckle

chuckle noun
chucklesome \ ˈchə-​kᵊl-​səm How to pronounce chucklesome (audio) \ adjective
chucklingly \ ˈchə-​kᵊl-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce chucklingly (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

Another suggested introducing legislation to that effect and Hill joined the audience in chuckling. Fox News, "Florida lawmaker apologizes for response to kill gays remark," 6 June 2019 On Friday, Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, condemned Hill, R-Pensacola, for chuckling after a constituent talked about a part of the Bible that calls for men committing homosexual acts to be put to death. Gray Rohrer,, "Gov. Ron DeSantis backs condemnation of Rep. Mike Hill’s laughter about putting gay people to death," 4 June 2019 Lowry chuckled before knowingly glancing at the man sitting to his right: Kawhi Leonard. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "The Toronto Raptors used a high-risk business strategy to make the NBA Finals," 4 June 2019 Common says while chuckling at Jada’s curious expression. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Common Reveals His Desire To Be A Husband: 'I Just Want That Partnership'," 14 June 2019 Economist Marshall Steinbaum, an author of a Roosevelt Institute report on the macroeconomic effects of a universal basic income, chuckled at the New York entrepreneur's announcement. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "Presidential candidate Andrew Yang to give Iowa family $1,000 a month," 11 June 2019 There is no end in sight to the Brexit drama, which has left observers around the world scratching their heads — and sometimes chuckling — at Britain’s plight. Jill Lawless, The Seattle Times, "Shame, sadness in UK as Brexit reveals Parliament’s flaws," 14 Apr. 2019 The few Southwest Ohio voters who are paying attention to the governor's race have to be chuckling at the Democrats today. Jason Williams,, "PX column: Brent Spence Bridge? 'I don't know about your bridge,' Ohio gov candidate says," 11 Apr. 2018 Personal computers routinely chuckle at users’ foibles. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "My Electronic Devices Are Laughing at Me," 22 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.

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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

18 Jul 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 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

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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

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).


to form ideas or theories about something

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