Definition of cluck in US English:

cluck

(also cluck-cluck)

verb

[no object]
  • 1(of a hen) make a short, guttural sound.

    • ‘There were the sounds of punching and kicking, objects being broken, grown-ups begging for mercy, children crying, chickens clucking, dogs yelping and pigs squealing.’
    • ‘With that, he starts to do a strutting chicken walk, wafting his arms about and clucking and squawking to himself.’
    • ‘He said he eats ‘anything that used to moo, cluck or oink - as long as it's cooked.’’
    • ‘When the road was clear, a few villagers ran out of their homes and onto the road, dogs barking and chickens clucking.’
    • ‘As chickens cluck at our feet, he continues in his warm, soft voice: ‘They will never succeed in making me hate them.’’
    • ‘Chickens clucked about, scratching up dust into tiny dust devils with their claws.’
    • ‘The chickens clucked and scratched around his feet.’
    • ‘She made a face as she groped under the black hen, which glared and clucked at her but yielded a warm, brown egg.’
    • ‘The chicken clucked once, and resumed her former position.’
    • ‘She lived on the top floor while all her hens and chickens clucked happily on the ground level.’
    • ‘During one acting class, when the students were asked to pretend to be chickens under a falling atom bomb, everybody clucked frantically and raced around the room.’
    • ‘Chickens and hens cluck nearby and the cicadas start up their relentless refrain.’
    • ‘There were a number of carefully segregated piles of pipes, rusted auto parts, and other assorted items between which half a dozen scrawny chickens clucked and pecked their way through the dirt.’
    • ‘Goats bleated occasionally, chickens clucked and honks from geese could be heard sometimes.’
    • ‘If they ask if my eggs are fresh, I'll waddle around and cluck like a chicken and say, ‘Hey, they don't get any fresher than this.’’
    • ‘Street wardens patrolling the area found the birds clucking and pecking around and thought they had escaped from the nearby School Farm.’
    • ‘The male clucks softly to the female it has chosen to be his mate, producing a sound similar to that made by females when calling to their young.’
    • ‘The geese honked, and the hens hopped about clucking, as she giggled and ran after them.’
    • ‘There were no horses bucking in their stalls, no chickens clucking on the ground.’
    • ‘A quietness followed my outburst; even the chickens stopped clucking and tilted their heads in alarm briefly.’
    screech, squeal, shriek, scream, croak, crow, caw, cluck, clack, cackle, hoot, cry, call
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a person) make a short, low sound with one's tongue to express concern or disapproval.
      ‘the bystanders shook their heads and clucked sympathetically’
      with object ‘Michael clucked his tongue irritably’
      • ‘Her mother, dressed in ski-pants, enters and clucks disapprovingly.’
      • ‘The man clucked his tongue, as if he were feeling sorry for me, and moved forward to help me saddle the horse.’
      • ‘‘That's no way to treat a lady, Eric,’ his mother scolded, clucking her tongue.’
      • ‘She clucked her tongue, apparently in disapproval, and turned away.’
      • ‘‘Oh I know,’ she said, clucking sympathetically.’
      • ‘Throughout the showing of the film, we were bombarded with audience members around us clucking their tongues and making other sympathetic noises.’
      • ‘The maid clucked her tongue and rolled her eyes.’
      • ‘She clucked her tongue a couple of times, frowning slightly.’
      • ‘Despots die and their wars are read about in history books; we cluck our tongues, shake our heads and wonder at their evil.’
      • ‘He pulled out his watch and clucked his tongue at the time.’
      • ‘She sighed frustratedly and clucked her tongue.’
      • ‘The bystanders shook their heads and clucked sympathetically.’
      • ‘For a moment, she was occupied with the task of scrutinizing everything in the parlor, clucking her tongue in disapproval.’
      • ‘She shook her head and clucked her tongue, as if she were disappointed in me.’
      • ‘I cluck my tongue at Carole, the way my grandmother clucks her tongue at me when I've said something utterly, wholly stupid.’
      • ‘So I declined his offer, letting him cluck in dismay.’
      • ‘My old therapist called it hyper-vigilance and clucked as she made notes about examples of the behavior in my daily life.’
      • ‘I shook my head, feeling the urge to cluck my tongue in disapproval.’
      • ‘Of course, conservatives will cluck cluck sadly and say that we're overreacting.’
      • ‘I'd toss out a topic and he'd cluck his tongue and point out ways my idea could be offensive and controversial.’
      • ‘He clucked his tongue in a mock disapproving way.’
    2. 1.2cluck over/at/aboutno object Express fussy concern about.
      ‘they were cluck-clucking over the dishonor he brought to the office’
      • ‘Right now, however, her sponsors and management plot her future, as stylists dress her and beauticians cluck over her eye shadow.’
      • ‘Matrons in gem-hued gowns were clucking over the other debutantes.’
      • ‘The departure of Elisabeth was like the departure of a mother; she had been the old hen of the group, clucking over everybody and their goings-on with men, while never having one herself.’
      • ‘She lay back in her bed, her companion clucking around like a motherly hen.’
      • ‘My hand was swollen and still bled every time the bandages came off, and my companions clucked over it every evening when they tried their best to clean it.’
      • ‘He worried over her like a mother hen clucking over her chicks.’
      • ‘My mother is clucking over me again, trying to flatten my hair by licking her hands and pressing them down on my head.’
      • ‘He eyed me curiously with amusement, ‘For a while there you sounded like a mother hen clucking over her chick.’’
      • ‘He says she is ‘cute’ and recalls how she spent time clucking over the daughters of both her friends at the wedding last year.’
      • ‘As soon as he asks the checkout assistant, three more of them appear and start clucking around.’
      • ‘I grumble as we make our way outside the hall where young women were clucking around, fixing every semi-finalist model's hair, make-up, dress etc.’
      • ‘In every gift shop, there are more cute infants to cluck over.’
      • ‘She found herself again in sick bay, the doctor clucking over her in dismay.’
      • ‘The documentary was unremarkable until the worthy journalist stopped to cluck over a small girl at a festival of some kind.’

noun

  • 1The characteristic short, guttural sound made by a hen.

    • ‘But for the rest of us, the meaning behind creatures' clucks, rumbles, and whistles remains a mystery.’
    • ‘Farmers usually keep farm animals to supplement their income, but a visitor to this farm will not hear clucks or moos.’
    • ‘When I reached the gate, I heard happy moos and clucks from the chickens and cows.’
    • ‘A chorus of clucks answered the maiden when the door was opened.’
    screech, squeal, shriek, scream, croak, crow, caw, cluck, clack, cackle, hoot, cry, call
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A short, guttural sound made by a person to express concern or disapproval.
      ‘Loretta gave a cluck of impatience’
      • ‘Jackson filled in the form as best he could and handed it back to the nurse, who looked over it with a cluck of disapproval.’
      • ‘With an exasperated cluck of his tongue he rushed to the shower, and got ready.’
      • ‘Gil, with a cluck of his tongue and a loud smack of his lips, seemed satisfied with this.’
      • ‘Oscar descended upon him with reassuring clucks, all of which were duly ignored.’
      • ‘‘Thanks,’ he said but made no action to invite her in and with a cluck of her tongue she turned on her heels and began to walk away.’
      • ‘Kidnappers just do not put up with disapproving glances and motherly clucks.’
      • ‘I have perfected the art of the interested cluck during these kinds of conversations.’
      • ‘She tutted and clucked her tongue, shaking her head in accordance with the rhythm of her clucks.’
      • ‘Margaret was temporarily silenced, but she still made displeased clucks as she looked her daughter over.’
      • ‘He made a noise which, had he been female, would have been instantly recognized as a sympathetic cluck.’
      • ‘Amidst grunts and clucks of disapproval, I managed to lose myself in the crowd.’
      • ‘He gave a cluck of sorts and began the lesson.’
      • ‘When I read, ‘academic freedom,’ I hear a very loud cluck.’
  • 2North American informal A stupid or foolish person.

    ‘a cluck too lazy to put up a clothesline’
    • ‘Whether she intended to eventually marry the silly cluck or not, that wouldn't matter, because I just wouldn't like it.’
    • ‘I have seen some of the responsible anti-war leaders try to distance themselves from such clucks, but not enough.’
    idiot, ass, halfwit, nincompoop, blockhead, buffoon, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, imbecile, dullard, moron, simpleton, clod
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 15th century: imitative, corresponding to Danish klukke, Swedish klucka.

Pronunciation

cluck

/klək//klək/