Definition: To laugh loudly
Origin: The first ‘cachinnations’ were heard in the English language in the early 17th century – though it took another two hundred years or so for the laughter to stop and for it to be properly recognized as a verb. It originates with the Latin word ‘cachinnatio’, meaning ‘violent laughter’.
Why This Word:
There is something fascinating about cachinate. In the English language, there exists the ‘cackle’. In Old High German, people experienced the ‘kachazzen’. In Sanskrit, shoulders convulsed to the sounds of a ‘kakhati’. In ancient Greece, people, no doubt talking about the strength of the economy, experienced the ‘kakhazein’. In short, it seems that there is a near-universal recognition of uncontrolled laughter having a k-k sound and that sound has been represented in the language.
How to use this word in a sentence?
Cachinnate is not one for everyday use, I suspect, despite its link to the universal k-k laughter sound. The English language does have the related word ‘cackle’ – but it usually indicates a laughter that is synonymous with an evil deed.
Could one conceivably cachinnate in a comedy club? Perhaps only where alliteration is sought … I believe, however, that there may well be a future for the cachinnation. If you are ‘that guy’ in your group of friends that refers to a planned night out with friends as ‘a celebration of epicurean delights’, or regularly uses the word ‘cacophony’ as a generic collective term, then you can cachinnate to your heart’s content.