1

hector

noun hec·tor \ ˈhek-tər \

Definition of hector

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

hector was our Word of the Day on 05/17/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of hector in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of hector from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of hector

Latin, from Greek Hektōr


2

hector

verb

Definition of hector

hectored; hectoring play \ˈhek-t(ə-)riŋ\
intransitive verb
: to behave in an arrogant or intimidating way : to play the bully : swagger
transitive verb
: to intimidate or harass by bluster or personal pressure
  • football players being hectored by their coach

hectoringly

play \ˈhek-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

Recent Examples of hector from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Hector wasn't always a bully. In Homer's Iliad, 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 generic synonym of bully? That pejorative English 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 merely swaggering bullies who intimidated passersby and vandalized property. By 1660, hector was being used as a noun for the sort of blustering braggarts who populated those gangs, and as a verb as well.

Origin and Etymology 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

HECTOR Defined for English Language Learners

hector

verb

Definition of hector for English Language Learners

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



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