verb heck·le \ˈhe-kəl\

: to interrupt (someone, such as a speaker or performer) by shouting annoying or rude comments or questions

heck·ledheck·ling \-k(ə-)liŋ\

Full Definition of HECKLE

transitive verb
:  to harass and try to disconcert with questions, challenges, or gibes :  badger
heck·ler \-k(ə-)lər\ noun

Examples of HECKLE

  1. Several protesters were heckling the speaker at the rally.
  2. The players were being heckled by the fans.
  3. People in the crowd were booing and heckling as she tried to speak.

Origin of HECKLE

Middle English hekelen to dress flax, scratch, from heckele hackle; akin to Old High German hāko hook — more at hook
First Known Use: circa 1825

Synonym Discussion of HECKLE

bait, badger, heckle, hector, chivy, hound mean to harass by efforts to break down. bait implies wanton cruelty or delight in persecuting a helpless victim <baited the chained dog>. badger implies pestering so as to drive a person to confusion or frenzy <badgered her father for a car>. heckle implies persistent annoying or belligerent interruptions of a speaker <drunks heckled the stand-up comic>. hector carries an implication of bullying and domineering <football players hectored by their coach>. chivy suggests persecution by teasing or nagging <chivied the new student mercilessly>. hound implies unrelenting pursuit and harassing <hounded by creditors>.

Rhymes with HECKLE


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