Meaning of chuckle in English:



[no object]
  • Laugh quietly or inwardly.

    ‘I chuckled at the astonishment on her face’
    • ‘The King's official looked at his clerk, and chuckled quietly, shaking his head.’
    • ‘They must have also given me something else because I was suddenly very happy: chuckling away in manic fashion.’
    • ‘I can almost picture Johnson chuckling to himself when he read this critique of his book.’
    • ‘Calderwood starts to tell a story, then stops, chuckling to himself.’
    • ‘The two old men on the balcony across the road were still chuckling, for all the world like the two old Muppet men at the opera.’
    • ‘I reckon good old St Swithin is chuckling in his beard at the sight.’
    • ‘As it turns out, we never get bored with it, and watch the whole damn thing, chuckling like hyenas.’
    • ‘Anyway, on the way out of the cinema, most of the gang were chuckling to themselves about how much they had enjoyed the film.’
    • ‘In person, with her long hair down, Guerin is chatty, friendly, occasionally chuckling.’
    • ‘At this point I'm chuckling madly and can't remember my original question, if there was one.’
    • ‘An elderly man rolled up his trousers and paddled in the sea, chuckling as the water foamed and tickled at his ankles.’
    • ‘The day before, Ethan had been lively and was chuckling merrily, despite having a cold.’
    • ‘The play is an entertaining romp that was enough to keep this reviewer chuckling for a couple of hours.’
    • ‘I chuckled to myself as my morbid preoccupations melted away, replaced by a deep joy.’
    • ‘A few polite souls chuckled, but the real joke was that he had already lost something.’
    • ‘Was it just an honest mistake that airport security personnel are still chuckling over?’
    • ‘And who knows, with a bit of homework and practice you could be chuckling all the way home after a successful day at the races.’
    • ‘Still chuckling, he picked up her mug and purposefully set it on the opposite end of the table.’
    • ‘Still chuckling he stretched one leg, then the other and got to his feet.’
    • ‘The elders passing by would always chuckle at his antics.’
    chortle, giggle, titter, laugh quietly, tee-hee, snicker, snigger
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  • A quiet or suppressed laugh.

    ‘Melissa gave a chuckle’
    • ‘And now imagine the quiet chuckle Dylan is having at the fuss he's caused.’
    • ‘You always have the feeling they're suppressing the chuckle just until they're off camera.’
    • ‘Much to her surprise and frustration, the man seemed to be trying to suppress a chuckle.’
    • ‘She suppressed a chuckle and nearly choked on her drink when he caught her looking.’
    • ‘My trepidation gave way to guilty chuckles, then belly laughs and then genuine admiration.’
    • ‘In ‘Memoirs of a Media Maverick’ Boyce Richardson provides a lot of chuckles, some guffaws, and three hearty belly laughs.’
    • ‘They talked happily, their conversation interspersed with chuckles, laughter and jokes.’
    • ‘I've also included a piece that should give the women a good laugh and a nice chuckle to the men who can handle it.’
    • ‘This certainly is a laugh aloud book, and I found myself alternating between muffled chuckles and outright guffaws.’
    • ‘I couldn't hold in my chuckles of laughter and neither, it seemed, could Derek as I saw his shoulders shake.’
    • ‘Little more than a minute or two goes by without a chuckle or laugh from the group.’
    • ‘Laughter like a strange hybrid of belly laugh and chuckle, a belly chuckle, perhaps, is a bit of a giveaway.’
    • ‘The movie provokes a lot of smiles and chuckles, but few belly laughs.’
    • ‘But the chortles, chuckles and giggles are part of a much more serious project.’
    • ‘What started as a chuckle soon developed into tear-spilling laughter - and I was all alone!’
    • ‘She, too, sat there in the water, laughing, as her buddies came up for a chuckle.’
    • ‘The man next to me stifled a chuckle and I turned to see what he was laughing at.’
    • ‘Guffaws and chuckles follow, and they talk about how they blocked up all the entrances except the big door.’
    • ‘However, they were obviously light chuckles, as I can't even recall which parts I laughed at.’
    • ‘Bogosian knows how to prime his audience with some chuckles, and then goad them into a few uneasy laughs.’
    chuckle, chortle, guffaw, giggle, titter, ha-ha, tee-hee, snigger, roar of laughter, hoot of laughter, shriek of laughter, peal of laughter, belly laugh
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Late 16th century (in the sense ‘laugh convulsively’): from chuck meaning ‘to cluck’ in late Middle English.