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noun hec·tor \ˈhek-tər\

Definition of hector

  1. 1 capitalized :  a son of Priam, husband of Andromache, and Trojan champion slain by Achilles

  2. 2 :  bully, braggart

Examples of hector in a sentence

  1. <a small-town hector with no job and lots of time on his hands>

Origin of hector

Latin, from Greek Hektōr

First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with hector



verb, hec·tor

Simple Definition of hector

  • : to criticize or question (someone) in a threatening way

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of hector

hectoredhectoring play \-t(ə-)riŋ\

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to play the bully :  swagger

  3. transitive verb
  4. :  to intimidate or harass by bluster or personal pressure

hectoringly play \-t(ə-)riŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of hector in a sentence

  1. The judge ordered the attorney to stop hectoring the witness.

  2. <the children used to constantly hector the poor dog, and now he growls at everybody>

Did You Know?

In Homer's Iliad, Hector, the eldest son of King Priam of Troy, was a model soldier, son, father, and friend, the champion of the Trojan army until he was killed by the Greek hero Achilles. How did the name of a Trojan paragon become a verb meaning "to bully or harrass"? That use was likely influenced by gangs of rowdy street toughs who roamed London in the 17th century and called themselves "Hectors." They may have thought themselves gallant young blades, but to the general populace they were swaggering bullies who intimidated passersby and vandalized property. By 1660, "hector" was being used both as a verb and as a noun meaning "bully."


First Known Use of hector


Synonym Discussion of hector

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>.

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marked by grandiloquent style

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