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.

verb (intr)

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


  1. a partly suppressed laugh

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.).

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