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

Definition of heckle

transitive verb

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

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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 President Donald Trump was booed and heckled by the crowd at Game 5 of the 2019 World Series. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump Got Booed and Heckled With “Lock Him Up!” Chants at the World Series," 28 Oct. 2019 The convoy was heckled in places by Kurds who accused the United States of betrayal, and hurled rocks and vegetables at the vehicles. Anchorage Daily News, "Russia, Turkey agree to jointly remove Kurdish fighters along border in northern Syria," 22 Oct. 2019 Last October, the senator was heckled at Havana Rumba in Louisville while out with his wife, Elaine Chao. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Video shows Rand Paul being verbally assaulted by 'aggressive libs,' aide says," 21 Oct. 2019 Mueh — a 1966 AFA grad who, years earlier, was one of those cadets who’d been heckled in Boulder — retired from the Falcons athletic department in January 2015. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "Why renewal of CU Buffs-Air Force football game “should’ve been done a long time ago”," 13 Sep. 2019 That came at the end of a week in which Nielsen and White House domestic policy adviser Stephen Miller were heckled at separate Mexican eateries in D.C. One website even posted Miller’s personal cellphone number. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Liberal hostility toward Trump aides could galvanize the GOP base," 25 June 2018 Opposing protesters quickly gathered there, sparking tensions as the two camps heckled each other. Time, "Conflict Breaks Out in Hong Kong Mall Amid Counter Protests," 14 Sep. 2019 Opposing protesters quickly gathered there, sparking tensions as the two camps heckled each other. SFChronicle.com, "News of the Day From Around the World," 14 Sep. 2019 Counter protesters quickly gathered there, sparking tension as the two camps heckled each other. Washington Post, "Skirmishes break out in Hong Kong mall amid counter rallies," 11 Sep. 2019

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

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for heckle

The first known use of heckle was circa 1825

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More Definitions for heckle


How to pronounce heckle (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heckle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heckle

Spanish Central: Translation of heckle

Nglish: Translation of heckle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heckle for Arabic Speakers

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