heck·​le | \ˈhe-kəl \
heckled; heckling\ˈhe-​k(ə-​)liŋ \

Definition of heckle 

transitive verb

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

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Other Words from heckle

heckler \ˈhe-​k(ə-​)lər \ noun

Synonyms for heckle


bait, hassle, haze, needle, ride, taunt, tease

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Miller once threw away $80 of sushi after being heckled in a different incident. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "Why is Marco Rubio tweeting about Salt Bae?," 18 Sep. 2018 Tensions flared at two different Mexican restaurants in D.C. last week, as Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and White House adviser Stephen Miller were heckled by fellow patrons while dining. Janelle Nanos, BostonGlobe.com, "Would you ask someone to leave your restaurant? Boston owners say that’s tricky," 26 June 2018 Still, his friends and family members are no strangers to being heckled on the street. Alison Kuznitz, courant.com, "Curbing Crime In Thompsonville: Civilians, Officials To Meet On Potential Block Watch," 9 July 2018 And as highlighted by Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer, Jones appeared at a post-hearing interview session and heckled Rubio with questions about his bans. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "The 7 biggest moments from today’s social media hearings," 5 Sep. 2018 Waters’s comments came after several officials were heckled or asked leave restaurants because of their work within the administration. Madeleine Aggeler, The Cut, "President Trump Makes Veiled Threat Against ‘Low IQ Person’ Maxine Waters," 25 June 2018 Shows like It Came from Hollywood saw comedians like Dan Aykroyd and Gilda Radner heckle third-rate flicks. Bryan Lufkin, Popular Mechanics, "Can Mystery Science Theater 3000 Thrive in an Age of Snark?," 14 Apr. 2017 Protesters heckled White House adviser and immigration hardliner Stephen Miller outside his Washington, D.C., apartment, and activists protested Nielsen during her meal at a Mexican restaurant. Joe Garofoli, SFChronicle.com, "SF activist targeting Trump ‘collaborators’ has no interest in civility," 27 June 2018 The 32-year-old Trump adviser was reportedly heckled at a sushi restaurant near his apartment in the District during an encounter that spurred him to immediately throw the meal away, according to The Washington Post. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Trump adviser Stephen Miller reportedly threw away $80 sushi after bartender gave him the finger," 10 July 2018

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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Statistics for heckle

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for heckle

The first known use of heckle was circa 1825

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More Definitions for heckle



English Language Learners Definition of heckle

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on heckle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heckle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heckle

Spanish Central: Translation of heckle

Nglish: Translation of heckle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heckle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on heckle

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a nest or breeding place

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