1

hector

play
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

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

Origin and Etymology of hector

Latin, from Greek Hektōr


First Known Use: 14th century


2

hector

verb hec·tor

Definition of hector

hectored

;

hectoring

play \ˈhek-t(ə-)riŋ\
  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to behave in an arrogant or intimidating way :  to play the bully :  swagger

  3. transitive verb
  4. :  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

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

see 1hector


First Known Use: 1660

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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