Definition of cluck in English:



  • 1 (of a hen) make a short, guttural sound.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A quietness followed my outburst; even the chickens stopped clucking and tilted their heads in alarm briefly.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘She lived on the top floor while all her hens and chickens clucked happily on the ground level.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘Chickens and hens cluck nearby and the cicadas start up their relentless refrain.’
    • ‘When the road was clear, a few villagers ran out of their homes and onto the road, dogs barking and chickens clucking.’
    • ‘She made a face as she groped under the black hen, which glared and clucked at her but yielded a warm, brown egg.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The chickens clucked and scratched around his feet.’
    • ‘Street wardens patrolling the area found the birds clucking and pecking around and thought they had escaped from the nearby School Farm.’
    • ‘Goats bleated occasionally, chickens clucked and honks from geese could be heard sometimes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The chicken clucked once, and resumed her former position.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As chickens cluck at our feet, he continues in his warm, soft voice: ‘They will never succeed in making me hate them.’’
    • ‘There were no horses bucking in their stalls, no chickens clucking on the ground.’
    • ‘The geese honked, and the hens hopped about clucking, as she giggled and ran after them.’
    • ‘Chickens clucked about, scratching up dust into tiny dust devils with their claws.’
    screech, squeal, shriek, scream, croak, crow, caw, cluck, clack, cackle, hoot, cry, call
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    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’
      • ‘For a moment, she was occupied with the task of scrutinizing everything in the parlor, clucking her tongue in disapproval.’
      • ‘So I declined his offer, letting him cluck in dismay.’
      • ‘I'd toss out a topic and he'd cluck his tongue and point out ways my idea could be offensive and controversial.’
      • ‘She clucked her tongue a couple of times, frowning slightly.’
      • ‘She clucked her tongue, apparently in disapproval, and turned away.’
      • ‘I cluck my tongue at Carole, the way my grandmother clucks her tongue at me when I've said something utterly, wholly stupid.’
      • ‘Her mother, dressed in ski-pants, enters and clucks disapprovingly.’
      • ‘The maid clucked her tongue and rolled her eyes.’
      • ‘‘Oh I know,’ she said, clucking sympathetically.’
      • ‘He pulled out his watch and clucked his tongue at the time.’
      • ‘Of course, conservatives will cluck cluck sadly and say that we're overreacting.’
      • ‘My old therapist called it hyper-vigilance and clucked as she made notes about examples of the behavior in my daily life.’
      • ‘He clucked his tongue in a mock disapproving way.’
      • ‘She shook her head and clucked her tongue, as if she were disappointed in me.’
      • ‘I shook my head, feeling the urge to cluck my tongue in disapproval.’
      • ‘The bystanders shook their heads and clucked sympathetically.’
      • ‘The man clucked his tongue, as if he were feeling sorry for me, and moved forward to help me saddle the horse.’
      • ‘Despots die and their wars are read about in history books; we cluck our tongues, shake our heads and wonder at their evil.’
      • ‘Throughout the showing of the film, we were bombarded with audience members around us clucking their tongues and making other sympathetic noises.’
      • ‘‘That's no way to treat a lady, Eric,’ his mother scolded, clucking her tongue.’
      • ‘She sighed frustratedly and clucked her tongue.’
    2. 1.2[no object]Express fussy concern about.
      ‘they were cluck-clucking over the dishonor he brought to the office’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My mother is clucking over me again, trying to flatten my hair by licking her hands and pressing them down on my head.’
      • ‘In every gift shop, there are more cute infants to cluck over.’
      • ‘Matrons in gem-hued gowns were clucking over the other debutantes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He worried over her like a mother hen clucking over her chicks.’
      • ‘As soon as he asks the checkout assistant, three more of them appear and start clucking around.’
      • ‘He says she is ‘cute’ and recalls how she spent time clucking over the daughters of both her friends at the wedding last year.’
      • ‘She found herself again in sick bay, the doctor clucking over her in dismay.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Right now, however, her sponsors and management plot her future, as stylists dress her and beauticians cluck over her eye shadow.’
      • ‘He eyed me curiously with amusement, ‘For a while there you sounded like a mother hen clucking over her chick.’’
      • ‘She lay back in her bed, her companion clucking around like a motherly hen.’
      • ‘The documentary was unremarkable until the worthy journalist stopped to cluck over a small girl at a festival of some kind.’


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

    • ‘A chorus of clucks answered the maiden when the door was opened.’
    • ‘When I reached the gate, I heard happy moos and clucks from the chickens and cows.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1A short, guttural sound made by a person to express concern or disapproval.
      ‘Loretta gave a cluck of impatience’
      • ‘Oscar descended upon him with reassuring clucks, all of which were duly ignored.’
      • ‘She tutted and clucked her tongue, shaking her head in accordance with the rhythm of her clucks.’
      • ‘Gil, with a cluck of his tongue and a loud smack of his lips, seemed satisfied with this.’
      • ‘Margaret was temporarily silenced, but she still made displeased clucks as she looked her daughter over.’
      • ‘Amidst grunts and clucks of disapproval, I managed to lose myself in the crowd.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He gave a cluck of sorts and began the lesson.’
      • ‘I have perfected the art of the interested cluck during these kinds of conversations.’
      • ‘With an exasperated cluck of his tongue he rushed to the shower, and got ready.’
      • ‘When I read, ‘academic freedom,’ I hear a very loud cluck.’
      • ‘He made a noise which, had he been female, would have been instantly recognized as a sympathetic cluck.’
      • ‘Kidnappers just do not put up with disapproving glances and motherly clucks.’
  • 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
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Late 15th century (as a verb): imitative, corresponding to Danish klukke, Swedish klucka.