Tag Archives: public speaker

word: heckle


heck·le (hkl)

tr.v. heck·led, heck·ling, heck·les

1. To try to embarrass and annoy (someone speaking or performing in public) by questions, gibes, or objections; badger.
2. To comb (flax or hemp) with a hatchel.

[Middle English hekelen, to comb with a hatchel, from hekel, hatchel, from Middle Dutch; see keg- in Indo-European roots.]

heckler n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


heckle (ˈhɛkəl)

vb

1. to interrupt (a public speaker, performer, etc) by comments, questions, or taunts
2. (Mechanical Engineering) Also: hackle or hatchel to comb (hemp or flax)

n

3. (Mechanical Engineering) an instrument for combing flax or hemp
[C15: Northern and East Anglian form of hackle]

ˈheckler n

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003


heck•le (ˈhɛk əl)

v.t. -led, -ling.

to harass (a public speaker, performer, etc.) with impertinent questions, gibes, or the like.
[1275–1325; Middle English hekelen, variant of hechelen to comb flax; akin to hackle1]
heck′ler, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

heckle First a “flax comb” for splitting and straightening the fibers for spinning; its metaphorical sense developed from its verb form, “to mangle by cutting, to cut roughly.”

See also related terms for spinning.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
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