Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To make the shrill cry characteristic of a hen after laying an egg.
  • intransitive v. To laugh or talk in a shrill manner.
  • transitive v. To utter in cackles: cackled a sarcastic reply.
  • n. The act or sound of cackling.
  • n. Shrill laughter.
  • n. Foolish chatter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The cry of a hen, especially when laying an egg
  • n. A laugh resembling the cry of a hen.
  • v. To laugh with a sound similar to a hen's cry.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The sharp broken noise made by a goose or by a hen that has laid an egg.
  • n. Idle talk; silly prattle.
  • intransitive v. To make a sharp, broken noise or cry, as a hen or goose does.
  • intransitive v. To laugh with a broken noise, like the cackling of a hen or a goose; to giggle.
  • intransitive v. To talk in a silly manner; to prattle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To utter a noisy succession of thin, shrill, broken notes: specifically used of the cry made by a hen after laying an egg or by a goose when excited or alarmed.
  • To laugh with a broken noise like the cackling of a goose; giggle.
  • To prate: prattle; tattle; talk in a silly manner.
  • Nautical, to wind right and left alternately: as, to cackle a cable.
  • n. The shrill repeated cry of a goose or hen.
  • n. Idle talk; silly prattle.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the sound made by a hen after laying an egg
  • v. talk or utter in a cackling manner
  • v. emit a loud, unpleasant kind of laughing
  • n. noisy talk
  • n. a loud laugh suggestive of a hen's cackle
  • v. squawk shrilly and loudly, characteristic of hens

Etymologies

Middle English cakelen, probably from Middle Low German kākeln, of imitative origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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  • Citation on yap.

    August 26, 2008