heckle

Synonym Chooser

How is the word heckle distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of heckle are badger, bait, chivy, hector, and hound. While all these words mean "to harass by efforts to break down," heckle implies persistent annoying or belligerent interruptions of a speaker.

drunks heckled the stand-up comic

Where would badger be a reasonable alternative to heckle?

The meanings of badger and heckle largely overlap; however, badger implies pestering so as to drive a person to confusion or frenzy.

badgered her father for a car

When might bait be a better fit than heckle?

While in some cases nearly identical to heckle, bait implies wanton cruelty or delight in persecuting a helpless victim.

baited the chained dog

When can chivy be used instead of heckle?

The words chivy and heckle can be used in similar contexts, but chivy suggests persecution by teasing or nagging.

chivied the new student mercilessly

When is hector a more appropriate choice than heckle?

The synonyms hector and heckle are sometimes interchangeable, but hector carries an implication of bullying and domineering.

football players hectored by their coach

When would hound be a good substitute for heckle?

Although the words hound and heckle have much in common, hound implies unrelenting pursuit and harassing.

hounded by creditors

Thesaurus Entries Near heckle

Cite this Entry

“Heckle.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/heckle. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on heckle

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!