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 The 23-year-old Forbes clapped her hands and chuckled. Thuc Nhi Nguyen, Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2024 Forbes’ Rashi Shrivastava writes that Hume’s tech also occasionally pauses when speaking, and will even chuckle—slightly disconcerting to hear coming from a computer. Sarah Whitmire, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 Moderator Whoopi Goldberg chuckled at Behar's quip, before lowering her head to rest face-down on the table as the panelists continued talking. Joey Nolfi,, 21 Mar. 2024 One moment this week, Ohtani and Mizuhara were chuckling with each other during a game. Kevin Rector, Los Angeles Times, 21 Mar. 2024 Stevenson, one of her mentors, chuckled at the notion. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Mar. 2024 Asked to characterize the pair’s relationship, Servais chuckled, while Seattle general manager Justin Hollander provided some insight. Evan Webeck, The Mercury News, 21 Feb. 2024 So the news former coach Jimmy Johnson is now part of a Cowboys advisory board should be taken with a grain of salt or least the jovial spirit in which it was announced by a chuckling Johnson on a Miami radio show that has since gone viral. Clarence E. Hill Jr., Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 20 Feb. 2024 Romo's broadcast partner, Jim Nantz, audibly chuckled as the network went into a commercial break. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, 22 Jan. 2024

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 19 Apr. 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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