Definition of cackle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkak(ə)l/


[no object]
1(Of a bird, especially a hen or goose) give a raucous clucking cry: the hen was cackling as if demented (as adjective cackling) cackling, whooping cries
More example sentences
  • Some have suggested that hens cackle to announce to roosters their renewed receptivity to mating.
  • And you'll not hear a pig grunting or a hen cackling in many farmyards today.
  • That's why I'm pushing so hard to get side jobs now, while the goose is still cackling.
1.1Laugh in a loud, harsh way: she cackled with laughter
More example sentences
  • The woman in the stall next to mine was belly laughing, cackling like a crazed hyena, heehawing at the other woman's fart.
  • They pointed at the team on the field and laughed and cackled and rolled around on the floor clutching their stomachs.
  • Scarlet cackled out loud and broke her embrace.
laugh loudly, laugh uproariously, guffaw, crow, chortle, chuckle, giggle, tee-hee
1.2 informal Talk at length without acting on what is said: corporate luminaries cackle on about the importance of quality
More example sentences
  • He cackled on about how things were to be handled while on sea, how to measure the winds strength and just about everything you did not have to know about a ship.
  • He couldn't take anymore as she cackled on about how well she'd done.
  • She cackled on about the places we were about to see while with one aged hand she tiredly, and with excruciating slowness, tried to open the envelope that held the key to the first apartment.


1The raucous clucking cry of a bird such as a hen or a goose: ducks have a harsh growling cackle
More example sentences
  • Small colonies went to live in the tall ash trees in Rhue and Dawros until finally there was silence and the raucous cackle of the crows of Banada was silenced forever.
  • They barely brushed together when a bird's high-pitched cackle could be heard from the trees.
  • The loud cackle of the roosting birds on the trees disturbed her thought.
1.1A loud, harsh laugh: her delighted cackle
More example sentences
  • He bellowed a loud, insane laugh that sounded more like a cackle than a laugh and lifted his goblet, spilling wine down the front of his long, untamed beard.
  • As his conversation picks its way determinedly from subject to subject, his speech is measured and occasionally punctuated by loud cackles of laughter or bursts of anger.
  • Not far away some woman in a house laughs, a mad cackle of a laugh.


cut the cackle

[usually in imperative] informal Stop talking aimlessly and come to the point: cut the cackle and just get us there
More example sentences
  • On World Aids Day I said let's cut the cackle, let's move with the speed of greased lightning to try and prevent those deaths that can be prevented.
  • They must be a wow on the social circuit but they really should cut the cackle when it comes to trying to build their business.
  • I have known judges who have done that without any unfairness, but who have been insistent on cutting the cackle and getting to the essence of it.


Middle English: probably from Middle Low German kākelen, partly imitative, reinforced by kāke 'jaw, cheek'.

Words that rhyme with cackle

crackle, grackle, hackle, jackal, mackle, shackle

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cackle

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