[kak-uh l]
See more synonyms for cackle on
verb (used without object), cack·led, cack·ling.
  1. to utter a shrill, broken sound or cry, as of a hen.
  2. to laugh in a shrill, broken manner.
  3. to chatter noisily; prattle.
verb (used with object), cack·led, cack·ling.
  1. to utter with cackles; express by cackling: They cackled their disapproval.
  1. the act or sound of cackling.
  2. chatter; idle talk.

Origin of cackle

1175–1225; Middle English cakelen; cognate with Dutch kakelen, Low German kakeln, Swedish kackla
Related formscack·ler, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cackle

Contemporary Examples of cackle

  • For most of the film I was too mortified to actually laugh out loud, but that one got a cackle from me.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Real Pilots Laugh at ‘Flight’

    Patrick Smith

    November 18, 2012

  • Kabakov is the Beckett of the art world, creating silences and divorcing himself from the cackle.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Is This Anti-Soviet Art?

    Jimmy So

    October 22, 2011

  • “I am wreaking a double vengeance,” writes Cellini, barely suppressing a cackle.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The First Celebrity Tell-All

    Nathaniel Rich

    September 22, 2010

Historical Examples of cackle

  • The detective indulged himself in a cackle of sneering merriment.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • And now stop your clatter and go to sleep; I'm tired of hearing you cackle.

  • The captain looked at him dully; then, understanding, a cackle came from his throat.

    Under Arctic Ice

    H.G. Winter

  • And suddenly, unaccountably, he began to chuckle; he began to cackle noisily.

  • A mingling of honk and cackle, it manifested not excitement so much as curiosity.

British Dictionary definitions for cackle


  1. (intr) (esp of a hen) to squawk with shrill notes
  2. (intr) to laugh or chatter raucously
  3. (tr) to utter in a cackling manner
  1. the noise or act of cackling
  2. noisy chatter
  3. cut the cackle informal to stop chattering; be quiet
Derived Formscackler, noun

Word Origin for cackle

C13: probably from Middle Low German kākelen, 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

Word Origin and History for cackle

early 13c., imitative (see cachinnation); perhaps partly based on Middle Dutch kake "jaw." Related: Cackled; cackling. As a noun from 1670s. Cackleberries, slang for "eggs" is first recorded 1880.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper