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

The two start giggling; even Q, a family friend sitting nearby, sentinel-like, chuckles knowingly. Chloe Malle, Town & Country, "Yara Shahidi Has a Simple Goal: Empower a Generation of Activists," 8 May 2019 Sheinelle and Al couldn't help but chuckle at Craig's surprising response. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Today' Stars Al Roker, Dylan Dreyer, and Craig Melvin Made the Show SUPER Awkward," 30 Apr. 2019 Keith chuckles at the ongoing matchmaking, choosing--at least for now--to stay focused on restoring these familial streets, these neighborhoods, and these families. Roy S. Johnson,, "Policy, passion drive Huntsville councilman Devyn Keith towards future," 4 Mar. 2018 Attenborough chuckled amiably at her little quip, per the Times. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Looking Back at David Attenborough's Relationship with Queen Elizabeth and the Rest of the Royal Family," 4 Apr. 2019 McPhee chuckles upon rereading his old houseguest’s reply: tnx!!!!! Alex Prewitt,, "How the Roster Decisions of Golden Knights GM George McPhee Color the Stanley Cup Final," 28 May 2018 Ellen chuckled and went on to fawn over Nick and Priyanka's relationship. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Ellen Confronts Priyanka Chopra for Not Inviting Her to Her Wedding," 30 Jan. 2019 While Sunny, Meghan, and Abby chuckled a little bit at the quip, Whoopi full-on lost it. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'The View' Star Whoopi Goldberg Lost It After Joy Behar's Comment on Monday's Show," 20 Nov. 2018 William and Kate appeared to continue chuckling about the awkward silence once the program resumed. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton and Prince William Joke About the Awkward Silence During Their BAFTAs Entrance," 12 Feb. 2019

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

6 Jun 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

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