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 Hoda instantly began chuckling to herself before answering. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Today' Star Hoda Kotb Had the Best Response to Jenna Asking If Joel Schiffman Does Anything 'Irritating'," 5 May 2020 Flannery said, chuckling when telling the story on The Chronicle’s Giants Splash podcast. John Shea,, "Naked and afraid in Novato: Ex-Giants coach Tim Flannery’s hilarious mishap," 22 Apr. 2020 Be prepared to chuckle about courtship and canoodling in the 21st century with Dean Lewis from NBC’s Last Comic Standing and Linda Stogner, past winner of the Funniest Comic in Texas competition, who will headline this holiday show. Shannon Sutlief, Dallas News, "Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Dallas-Fort Worth with wine, chocolate and romantic views," 6 Feb. 2020 The Red Devils are a laughing stock for numerous reasons, with their shambolic performances on the pitch giving supporters plenty to chuckle about., "6 Football-Related Tattoos Fans Could Potentially Get This Season," 24 Aug. 2019 The first moment of levity: Mueller cracks a smile and appears to chuckle after Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., rattles off a series of questions about the makeup of Mueller’s special counsel team. NBC News, "“That went a little fast for me.”," 25 July 2019 For those who love to chuckle: My Favorite Murder The premise is simple: two gals gather to talk about their fave murders. Rebecca Farley,, "These Podcasts Will Satisfy Your Craving For Making A Murderer," 15 June 2019 Everyone chuckled because there were no spectators at the event. Beth Ann Nichols, azcentral, "LPGA rookie and former UA star Haley Moore wins Cactus Tour event in Sun City," 2 Apr. 2020 Many people in audience chuckled, but a year later, nobody is laughing. Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, "The World Pushes Back Against E-Cigarettes and Juul," 30 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for chuckle

Time Traveler

The first known use of chuckle was circa 1770

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Statistics for chuckle

Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chuckle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for chuckle


How to pronounce chuckle (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chuckle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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