[chuhk-uh l]
See more synonyms for chuckle on
verb (used without object), chuck·led, chuck·ling.
  1. to laugh softly or amusedly, usually with satisfaction: They chuckled at the child's efforts to walk.
  2. to laugh to oneself: to chuckle while reading.
  3. Obsolete. to cluck, as a fowl.
  1. a soft laugh, usually of satisfaction.
  2. Obsolete. the cluck of a hen.

Origin of chuckle

First recorded in 1590–1600; chuck3 + -le
Related formschuck·ler, nounchuck·ling·ly, adverb

Synonyms for chuckle

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4. See laugh. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for chuckle

Contemporary Examples of chuckle

Historical Examples of chuckle

  • Miss Milbrey nodded encouragement, seeming to chuckle inwardly.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Then the chuckle came again, and he added emphatically: "But I will!"

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • "Yes, prob'ly it was something about 'em," Pa assented with a chuckle.

  • Linda tried hard but she could not suppress a chuckle: "Of course you would!"

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • The sympathetic Toodles welcomed this opening for a chuckle.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for chuckle


verb (intr)
  1. to laugh softly or to oneself
  2. (of animals, esp hens) to make a clucking sound
  1. a partly suppressed laugh
Derived Formschuckler, nounchucklingly, adverb

Word Origin for chuckle

C16: probably from chuck ³
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 chuckle

1590s, frequentative of Middle English chukken "make a clucking noise" (late 14c.), of echoic origin. It originally meant "noisy laughter." Related: Chuckled; chuckling.


1754, from chuckle (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper