- one of the long, slender feathers on the neck or saddle of certain birds, as the domestic rooster, much used in making artificial flies for anglers.
- the neck plumage of a male bird, as the domestic rooster.
- the erectile hair on the back of an animal's neck: At the sound of footsteps, the dog raised her hackles.
- anger, especially when aroused in a challenging or challenged manner: with one's hackles up.
- the legs of an artificial fly made with feathers from the neck or saddle of a rooster or other such bird.
- hackle fly.
- a comb for dressing flax or hemp.
- Angling. to equip with a hackle.
- to comb, as flax or hemp.
- raise one's hackles, to arouse one's anger: Such officiousness always raises my hackles.
Origin of hackle1
- to cut roughly; hack; mangle.
Origin of hackle2
Examples from the Web for hackles
It is the connection of triclosan to dioxin that has appropriately raised the hackles of so many.Antibacterial Soap’s Deadly Secret
May 21, 2014
But the conditions on the cash raised some hackles in Pakistan.What If the U.S. Cuts Off Aid to Pakistan?
David A. Graham
May 4, 2011
The fat fee is raising some hackles, but the head of the nonprofit she helped tells Shushannah Walshe she was worth the money.Bristol Palin's Outrageous Payday
April 6, 2011
There I was drug through the hackles by the meanest master that ever lived.Slave Narratives, Oklahoma
Fao's hackles were very evidently on the rise; Delcamp's face was hardening.The Galaxy Primes
Edward Elmer Smith
The Sebright bantam is destitute of hackles and sickle tail-feathers.
But his hackles remained raised as he accompanied the boy into the cabin.Trading Jeff and his Dog
James Arthur Kjelgaard
One or two of the nearer wolves raised their hackles and growled.Dusty Star
- the hairs on the back of the neck and the back of a dog, cat, etc, which rise when the animal is angry or afraid
- anger or resentment (esp in the phrases get one's hackles up, make one's hackles rise)
- any of the long slender feathers on the necks of poultry and other birds
- parts of an artificial fly made from hackle feathers, representing the legs and sometimes the wings of a real fly
- short for hackle fly
- a feathered ornament worn in the headdress of some British regiments
- a steel flax comb
- to comb (flax) using a hackle
Word Origin and History for hackles
Old English hacele "cloak, mantle" (cf. Old High German hachul, Gothic hakuls "cloak;" Old Norse hekla "hooded frock"). Sense of "bird plumage" is first recorded early 15c., though this might be from unrelated Middle English hackle "flax comb" (see heckle (n.)) on supposed resemblance of comb to ruffled feathers. Metaphoric extension found in raise one's hackles (as a cock does when angry) is first recorded 1881.