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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 for heckler
  • It is easy to mistake the heckler as an adult, one of many mothers in the crowd infuriated by desegregation.
  • We don't need a new high-tech heckler-proof theater.
  • But when the heckler is your boss it takes on a whole new flavor.
  • It was a heckler in full pads, playfully yelling at a teammate across the field.
  • The actor's set was interrupted when he jumped into the crowd to confront a heckler.
  • heckler removed an electric welding machine, a hand-held grinder and other hand tools to work on the truck.
British Dictionary definitions for heckler

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 heckler
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
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Word of The Day

Difficulty index for heckle

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for heckler

16
17
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