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heckle

[hek-uh l] /ˈhɛk əl/
verb (used with object), heckled, heckling.
1.
to harass (a public speaker, performer, etc.) with impertinent questions, gibes, or the like; badger.
2.
hackle1 (def 7).
noun
3.
hackle1 (def 5).
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English hekelen, variant of hechelen to comb flax; akin to hackle1, hatchel
Related forms
heckler, noun
Synonyms
1. bait, provoke, needle, hector, hound.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for heckle
  • Some rough-looking white people had started coming to the store to heckle the protesters.
  • His ears were sensitive too, perhaps overly so: he could hear a heckle from the back of the bleachers.
  • Volunteers needed to heckle traffic safety violators.
British Dictionary definitions for heckle

heckle

/ˈhɛkəl/
verb
1.
to interrupt (a public speaker, performer, etc) by comments, questions, or taunts
2.
(transitive) Also hackle, hatchel. to comb (hemp or flax)
noun
3.
an instrument for combing flax or hemp
Derived Forms
heckler, noun
Word Origin
C15: Northern and East Anglian form of hackle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for heckle
v.

early 14c., "to comb (flax or hemp) with a heckle;" from heckle (n.) or from related Middle Dutch hekelen. Figurative meaning "to question severely in a bid to uncover weakness" is from late 18c. "Long applied in Scotland to the public questioning of parliamentary candidates" [OED]. Related: Heckled; heckling.

n.

"flax comb," c.1300, hechel, perhaps from an unrecorded Old English *hecel or a cognate Germanic word (cf. Middle High German hechel, Middle Dutch hekel), from Proto-Germanic *hakila-, from PIE *keg- "hook, tooth" (see hook).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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15
16
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