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[kluhk] /klʌk/
verb (used without object)
to utter the cry of a hen brooding or calling her chicks.
to make a similar sound; express concern, approval, etc., by such a sound.
verb (used with object)
to call or utter by clucking.
the sound uttered by a hen when brooding, or in calling her chicks.
any clucking sound.
Origin of cluck1
1475-85; variant of clock1 (now dial. and Scot), Middle English clokken, Old English cloccian to cluck; cognate with Dutch klokken


[kluhk] /klʌk/
noun, Slang.
a dull-witted, stupid person; blockhead; dolt.
1900-05, Americanism; special use of cluck1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cluck
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Whenever they get hungry, the mamma hen will come to the door of the house and cluck.

  • While feeding it utters a low-sounding cluck, cluck, at short intervals.

    The Western World W.H.G. Kingston
  • I know all the birds say when they twitter and chirp, caw and coo, gobble and cluck.

    Europa's Fairy Book Joseph Jacobs
  • She can cluck, cluck them close up to her, and often she catches them.


    Mary Louisa Stewart Molesworth
  • There they sit for a short time, when their leader gives a loud “cluck.”

    With Axe and Rifle W.H.G. Kingston
  • Three distinct sounds are produced: "Puff, cluck, b-o-o-r-r-r-m-i."

    The Wild Turkey and Its Hunting Edward A. McIlhenny
  • He couldn't afford to have this chance smashed by a cluck like Garret.

    A Yankee Flier with the R.A.F. Rutherford G. Montgomery
  • The hot retort from Barrett ended in his throat with a cluck.

British Dictionary definitions for cluck


the low clicking sound made by a hen or any similar sound
(intransitive) (of a hen) to make a clicking sound
(transitive) to call or express (a feeling) by making a similar sound
Word Origin
C17: of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cluck

Old English cloccian originally echoic. Cf. Turkish culuk, one of the words for "turkey;" Greek klozein, Latin glocire, German glucken. Related: Clucked; clucking.


1703, "sound made by a hen," from cluck (v.). Slang meaning "stupid person" (turkeys are famously foolish) is from 1927.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for cluck



  1. A stupid person; idiot: The champion cluck of all time/ If I defend myself you two clucks are going to need a lot more backup (1920s+)
  2. A very dark black person (1950s+ Black)

Related Terms

dumb cluck

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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