follow Dictionary.com

Today's Word of the Day means...

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.
Cite This Source
Examples 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for heckle
heckle
"to question severely in a bid to find weaknesses," 1788, transferred usage of hekelen "to comb (flax or hemp) with a heckle," from M.E. hekele "a comb for flax or hemp" (early 14c.), from M.Du. hekelen, the original sense of which was "to prickle, irritate," from P.Gmc. *khakilo- (related to hackle). "Long applied in Scotland to the public questioning of parliamentary candidates" [OED].
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for heckle

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for heckle

15
16
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with heckle