[chuhk-uh l]

verb (used without object), chuck·led, chuck·ling.

to laugh softly or amusedly, usually with satisfaction: They chuckled at the child's efforts to walk.
to laugh to oneself: to chuckle while reading.
Obsolete. to cluck, as a fowl.


a soft laugh, usually of satisfaction.
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

4. See laugh. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for chuckled

snicker, smile, chortle, laugh, cackle, guffaw, crow, snigger, titter, exult, hee-haw, sniggle

Examples from the Web for chuckled

Contemporary Examples of chuckled

Historical Examples of chuckled

  • Burke chuckled, as the young man took the paper, wonderingly.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • He chuckled as he added: "That Turner woman saved you the trouble with one."

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • And he chuckled and rubbed his lean hands together as I had so often seen him do.

  • The Old Man chuckled to himself and went back to his welding.

  • "It wad hit the pair of 'em," McNab chuckled, and with that word the Devil conquered.

British Dictionary definitions for chuckled


verb (intr)

to laugh softly or to oneself
(of animals, esp hens) to make a clucking sound


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 chuckled



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