heck·​le | \ ˈhe-kəl How to pronounce heckle (audio) \
heckled; heckling\ ˈhe-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce heckle (audio) \

Definition of heckle

transitive verb

: to harass and try to disconcert with questions, challenges, or gibes : badger

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Synonyms for heckle


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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of heckle in a Sentence

Several protesters were heckling the speaker at the rally. The players were being heckled by the fans. People in the crowd were booing and heckling as she tried to speak.
Recent Examples on the Web Long before, some Peacocks fans near the court had seized the sporting spirit of Philadelphia and begun to heckle North Carolina, which had led outright for all but 18 seconds and once had a 27-point advantage. New York Times, 27 Mar. 2022 His words were interrupted by a group of men who had gathered several yards away to heckle him. Melanie Mason Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 9 Dec. 2021 David Krumholtz, one of Rogen’s best friends and star of The Santa Clause, stopped by to heckle Rogen, who was there to promote his new HBOMax series, Santa Inc.. Morgan Baila, Vulture, 14 Nov. 2021 The people who had to wait when someone blocked the way with a truck and got out to heckle. BostonGlobe.com, 12 Sep. 2021 The mob proceeded to heckle and accost Lady Bird and LBJ, who was Kennedy’s running mate. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, 10 Sep. 2021 This was the first chance Dodgers fans had to heckle the Astros in person at Chavez Ravine since their sign-stealing scandal — banging on a real trash can to signal opponents' pitches — was revealed late in 2019. Joe Reedy, ajc, 4 Aug. 2021 There's also the participatory and often combative crowds, known in recent years to heckle opponents to the point of completely drowning them out. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, 3 Aug. 2021 Now award-show hosting pros, Tina and Amy heckle Neil Patrick Harris at the Emmys. October 2013: Amy and Tina sign on to host the next two Golden Globes. Lizzie Logan, Vulture, 1 Mar. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heckle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of heckle

circa 1825, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for heckle

Middle English hekelen to dress flax, scratch, from heckele hackle; akin to Old High German hāko hook — more at hook

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Time Traveler for heckle

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The first known use of heckle was circa 1825

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Last Updated

1 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Heckle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heckle. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on heckle

Nglish: Translation of heckle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heckle for Arabic Speakers


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