verb (used without object), chor·tled, chor·tling.

to chuckle gleefully.

verb (used with object), chor·tled, chor·tling.

to express with a gleeful chuckle: to chortle one's joy.


a gleeful chuckle.

Origin of chortle

blend of chuckle and snort; coined by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking-Glass (1871)
Related formschor·tler, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for chortling

snicker, giggle, cackle, chuckle, crow, titter, snort, guffaw, hee-haw, sniggle

Examples from the Web for chortling

Contemporary Examples of chortling

Historical Examples of chortling

  • "'Course they'll all get together to-morrow and have it in for us," said the Gutter Pup, chortling.

    Skippy Bedelle

    Owen Johnson

  • A faint hoot came to them through the chortling of the wind.

  • They were chortling, pointing at each other, mugging for the camera.


    Cory Doctorow

  • "Yes," said the other, chortling over the "copy" his colleagues were missing.

  • It was then that Gwendolyn heard the nurse muttering and chortling to herself.

British Dictionary definitions for chortling



(intr) to chuckle gleefully


a gleeful chuckle
Derived Formschortler, noun

Word Origin for chortle

C19: coined (1871) by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking-glass; probably a blend of chuckle + snort
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 chortling



coined 1872 by Lewis Carroll in "Through the Looking Glass," perhaps from chuckle and snort. Related: Chortled; chortling. As a noun, from 1903.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper