Definitions

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

  • noun A snorting, joyful laugh or chuckle.
  • intransitive & transitive verb To utter a chortle or express with a chortle.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To exclaim exultingly, with a noisy chuckle: a vaguely suggestive word used in the first passage quoted, and since taken up by other writers in the sense defined.

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

  • verb Humorous A word coined by Lewis Carroll (Charles L. Dodgson), and usually explained as a combination of chuckle and snort.

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

  • noun A joyful, somewhat muffled laugh, rather like a snorting chuckle.
  • verb intransitive To laugh with a chortle or chortles.

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

  • noun a soft partly suppressed laugh
  • verb laugh quietly or with restraint

Etymologies

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

[Blend of chuckle and snort.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Coined by Lewis Carroll in his poem Jabberwocky, perhaps as a blend of chuckle and snort.

Examples

  • Although manteau = cloak and portmanteau = carry + cloak, "portmanteau word" was a coinage by Lewis Carroll, to refer to words like "chortle" chuckle + snort and so called because it resembled the Gladstone bag style of portmanteau, which has two equal compartments that fasten together in the middle.

    Making Light: Open thread 136

  • I love that crazy guy who is sometimes on the bus who has a laugh that actually might fit the word "chortle".

    Archive 2008-02-01

  • He had to say "chortle" at the end to signify that that was a joke.

    Sport news, comment and results | guardian.co.uk

  • He had to say "chortle" at the end to signify that that was a joke.

    Sport news, comment and results | guardian.co.uk

  • When I indicate a "chortle", I am indeed chortling ... living proof of this has been captured on video, at the link above.

    Paper Trufflez

  • Dan Colen responds at disjointed length in comments, Dan is seriously hung up on the word "chortle".

    RVABlogs

  • Dan Colen responds at disjointed length in comments, Dan is seriously hung up on the word "chortle".

    RVABlogs

  • Dan Colen responds at disjointed length in comments, Dan is seriously hung up on the word "chortle".

    RVABlogs

  • Kind of hard for a critic to say much beyond a chortle of self-recognition

    Paul Klein: Breadth on View, Depth in Mind

  • But it seems a bit of a stretch for Prime Minister José Sócrates, a candidate for re-election on June 5, to chortle that the bailout is "a big success."

    A Scheme to Make Charles Ponzi Proud

Comments

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  • A keen example of a portmanteau nonce word now used in common parlance, this Carrollism combines chuckle and snort into a single delightful morpheme.

    January 7, 2007

  • You chortle whenever someone gets you laughing and chuckling with pig-like snorting sounds.

    July 29, 2010

  • Why does the etymology just say that it is invented by Lewis Carroll? Seems odd to leave that out.

    February 9, 2013

  • 1. the definitions are open source, and ofthen archaic.

    2. looking up google books, we don't see chortle being used

    (I checked 1800 to 1822, and all the hits were OCR mismatches from scanning blurry books)

    http://goo.gl/0k2ZQ

    "CHORTLE verb popular To chuckle to laugh in one's sleeve to snort Introduced by Lewis Carrol in Through the Looking Glass See

    quot 1872 LEWIS CARROL Through Looking Glass i O frabjous day I Calloon Callay He CHORTLED in his joy

    1876 BESANT AMD RICK Golden Butterfly xxxii 242 It makes the cynic and the worldly minded man to chuckle and CHORTLE with an open joy

    1887 Athemrttm 3 Dec p 751 col i A means of exciting cynical CHORTLING 1888 Daily Nevis 10 Jan p 5 col 2 So may CHORTLE the Anthropophagi MI "

    Slang and its analogues past and present: A dictionary, historical ..., Volume 2

    By William Ernest Henley Page 103

    February 9, 2013

  • *snorckles*

    February 9, 2013

  • Ha.

    February 10, 2013

  • funny slideshow http://dictionary.reference.com/slideshows/laugh#chortle

    June 23, 2014