Definition of heckle in English:


Syllabification: heck·le
Pronunciation: /ˈhek(ə)l


[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]: he is merely heckling from the sidelines
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, boo, hiss, harass
2Dress (flax or hemp) to split and straighten the fibers for spinning.
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: the meeting regularly dissolved into heckles
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 (sense 2 of the verb): from heckle 'flax comb', a northern and eastern form of hackle. The sense 'interrupt (a public speaker) with aggressive questions' arose in the mid 17th century; for the development in sense, compare with tease.



Pronunciation: /ˈhek(ə)lər/
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.

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