Definition of hackle in English:

hackle

Line breaks: hackle
Pronunciation: /ˈhak(ə)l
 
/

noun

  • 1 (hackles) Erectile hairs along an animal’s back, which rise when it is angry or alarmed: the dog continued to growl, its hackles raised
    More example sentences
    • The dog stared, ears flattening, and she saw his hackles rise along his spine.
    • Her eyes practically exploded with flames and her hair rose a little, like a dog rising its hackles.
    • Sekher felt his hackles rise, claws extruded in fear.
  • 2A long, narrow feather on the neck or saddle of a domestic cock or other bird.
    More example sentences
    • Even before they hit the ground both birds fan their hackles out, resembling nothing so much as a suddenly opened umbrella.
    • Another distinct bird is the Nicobar pigeon with its metallic green hackles and sheen on its plumage.
  • 2.1 Fishing A feather wound around a fishing fly so that its filaments are splayed out.
    More example sentences
    • I clip off all the bottom and top hackles leaving the side hackles to ensure the fly sits in the surface film.
    • Different coloured hackle fibres for tail and throat hackles can work well.
    • Take ribbing wire through the hackle again in open
  • 2.2 [mass noun] Fly-fishing feathers collectively: raising birds for hackle
    More example sentences
    • I believe that the palmered body hackle causes a disturbance in the water and this is an attraction itself.
    • Twist peacock herl ends and wind on in front of hackle to form a neat head.
    • At the front I use two or three strands of three inches of round rubber hackle.
  • 2.3A bunch of feathers in a military headdress, for example of a regiment of fusiliers or the Black Watch.
    More example sentences
    • Faced with the famous red hackles of the the organization, they dropped their bags and applauded.
    • He will attempt to claim credit for preserving individual regimental identities within the new Scottish regiment by keeping their traditional cap badges, hackles and other distinctive traditions.
    • Down the main street strides the major of the army, an icy wind pulling at the red hackle on his bonnet.
  • 3A steel comb for dressing flax.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
  • Dress or comb (flax) with a hackle: taking each section separately the student should lightly hackle the extreme ends
    More example sentences
    • Then the stems were hackled (from the Old High German word that also gave us hook) to remove any remaining non-fibrous material by drawing them through a big comb consisting of a bed of nails in a wooden board.
    • In August we shall keep many people busy with retting and hackling, and by late September have much linen thread to spin.
    • Spinning wheels lined the walls and at the central tables others sorted, hackled and carded the wool.

Phrases

make someone's hackles rise

Make someone angry or indignant.
More example sentences
  • Why, it makes my hackles rise in self-righteous horror!
  • I knew it was a grin, but the bared teeth still made my hackles rise.
  • As nondescript and unassuming as he seemed, his mere presence made my hackles rise.
Synonyms

Origin

late Middle English (in sense 2 of the noun): variant of hatchel.

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