Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To make the shrill cry characteristic of a hen after laying an egg.
  • intransitive verb To laugh or talk in a shrill manner.
  • intransitive verb To utter in cackles.
  • noun The act or sound of cackling.
  • noun Shrill laughter.
  • noun Foolish chatter.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun The shrill repeated cry of a goose or hen.
  • noun Idle talk; silly prattle.
  • Nautical, to wind right and left alternately: as, to cackle a cable.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English cakelen, probably from Middle Low German kākeln, of imitative origin.]

Examples

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    August 26, 2008