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Line breaks: heckle
Pronunciation: /ˈhɛk(ə)l

Definition of heckle in English:


[with object]
1Interrupt (a public speaker) with derisive or aggressive comments or abuse: he was booed and heckled when he tried to address the demonstrators [no object]: women round him started heckling
More example sentences
  • The graduates and their guests, numbering about 60,000, were informed that anyone protesting or heckling the speakers could be subject to arrest and expulsion from the stadium.
  • I'm never one who likes seeing speakers heckled or booed at college commencement speeches, pretty much no matter who they are.
  • At the full council meeting on October 20, a packed public gallery heckled Labour councillors and cheered opposition members throughout the two-hour debate on the future of the pool and school.
jeer, taunt, jibe at, shout down, shout at, boo, hiss, disrupt, interrupt, harass;
shout catcalls at;
British & Australian/New Zealand barrack
2Dress (flax or hemp) to split and straighten the fibres for spinning: hemp was heckled and spun into rope yarn
More example sentences
  • The first step is to heckle the fiber, combing the long fibers from the short.


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A heckling comment: heckles of ‘Get stuffed!’
More example sentences
  • The comment raised heckles and embarrassed the forum's organizers.
  • She commented on it, of course, but it was a polite heckle, and very well-meaning - as were her comments about the English weather, her high heels and the quaint English accents.
  • The sight of royal blue encouraged many snide remarks from staff and customers alike; though unfortunately this was nothing compared to the unsavoury heckles in regards to my facial decoration.


Middle English (in sense 2 of the verb): from heckle 'flax comb', a northern and eastern form of hackle. The sense 'interrupt (a public speaker) with aggressive comments' arose in the mid 17th century; for the development in sense, compare with tease.



Example sentences
  • His wife was spat on in the street, his porch furniture was slashed; when he spoke in public he had to stuff his ears with cotton wool and plasticine to concentrate against the organised regiments of hecklers.
  • And, you know, people don't like hecklers, but people want to see their political leaders or the spouses of political leaders show that they can rise above the bad guys.
  • They can tackle hecklers like they were bowling pins and deliver punchlines to the back of the net with pinpoint accuracy, but the skills of Ireland's comedians proved a little less sharp on the football pitch.

Definition of heckle in:

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