Definition of heckle in English:

heckle

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

verb

[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.
    Synonyms
    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.

noun

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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.

Derivatives

heckler

noun
More 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.

Origin

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.

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