How do you talk laughter?
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    Ways To Describe Laughter: Do You Know Your Lingo?

    15 different ways to describe laughter in the English dictionary:

    ( Kuhn, 1994, as adapted by Berk, 2001 )

    1. Smirk: Slight, often fleeting upturning  of the corners of  the mouth, completely voluntary and controllable;
    2. Smile: Silent, voluntary and controllable, more perceptible than a smirk; begins to release endorphins;
    3. Cachinnate: To laugh loudly.
    4. Grin: Silent, controllable, but uses more facial muscles (e.g.,  eyes begin to narrow);
    5. Snicker: First emergence of  sound with facial muscles, but still controllable (if  you hold in a snicker, it builds up gas);
    6. Giggle: Has a 50 percent chance of  reversal to avoid a full laugh; sound of giggling is amusing; efforts to suppress it tend to increase its strength;
    7. Chuckle: Involves chest muscles with deeper pitch;
    8. Chortle: originates even deeper in the chest and involves muscles of torso; usually provokes laughter in others;
    1. Laugh: Involves facial and thoracic muscles as well as abdomen and extremities; sound of  barking or  snorting;
    2. Cackle: First involuntary stage; pitch is higher and body begins to rock, spine extends and flexes, with an upturning  of  head;
    3. Guffaw: Full body response; feet stomp, arms wave, thighs slapped, torso rocks, sound is deep and loud; may result in free flowing of  tears, increased heart rate, and breathlessness; strongest solitary laughter experience;
    4. Howl: Volume and pitch rise higher and higher and body becomes more animated;
    5. Shriek: Greater intensity than howl; sense of  helplessness and vulnerability;
    6. Roar: Lose individuality; i.e., the audience roars!
    7. Convulse: Body is completely out of  control in a fit of laughter resembling a seizure; extremities flail aimlessly, balance is lost, gasp for breath, collapse or  fall off chair;
    8. Die laughing: Instant of total helplessness; a brief, physically intense, transcendent experience; having died, we thereafter report a refreshing moment of  breathlessness and exhaustion with colors more vivid and everything sparkling; everything is renewed.

    More Laughter Synonyms

    • Burst out: To suddenly start laughing or crying
    • Collapse: If you collapse into laughter, you start laughing in an uncontrolled way
    • Crack up: To suddenly laugh a lot at something
    • Crease up: To start laughing, or to make someone laugh a lot
    • Die laughing: To laugh a lot
    • Get/have the giggles: To be unable to stop giggling
    • Giggly: Laughing a lot in a nervous, excited, or silly way
    • In fits: Laughing a lot
    • In hysterics: Laughing in an excited and uncontrolled way
    • In stitches: Laughing a lot
    • Kill yourself laughing: To laugh a lot
    • Lose it: To start laughing or crying and be unable to stop
    • Nearly/almost wet yourself: To laugh a lot
    • Split your sides: To laugh a lot
    • To dissolve into: If you dissolve into something such as tears or laughter, you begin to cry or laugh in an uncontrolled way

    …and amusement, glee, hilarity, mirth, merriment, rejoicing, snort, snorting, chortling, har-de-har, tehee, tittering…

    Do you know other ways to describe laughter? Join the conversation by leaving a comment below!

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    Sebastian Gendry is a French-American laughter and wellness expert with a passion for emotional literacy. He is the creator of the laughter wellness method and founder of the Laughter Online University. He has appeared in 100+ newspapers and magazines and two TEDx talks, as well as major TV shows, including the Oprah Winfrey Show, 60 minutes and ABC Good Morning America. His life mission is to create a happier planet. He teaches and advocates for sound, simple and stimulating self-care practices enriched with the cheerful, curative and centering impact of positive energies.

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