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[hek-ter] /ˈhɛk tər/
Classical Mythology. the eldest son of Priam and husband of Andromache: the greatest Trojan hero in the Trojan War, killed by Achilles.
(lowercase) a blustering, domineering person; a bully.
a male given name.
verb (used with object)
(lowercase) to treat with insolence; bully; torment:
The teacher hectored his students incessantly.
verb (used without object)
(lowercase) to act in a blustering, domineering way; be a bully.
Origin of Hector
< Latin < Greek Héktōr, special use of adj. héktōr holding fast
4. torture, persecute; badger, harass. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hectoring
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Scorn of that lie—as he conceived it—rang in the heavy, hectoring voice.

    Captain Blood Rafael Sabatini
  • Nancy was hectoring it over him and pulling him about to make him presentable.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • Even in such an hour as this the habit of hectoring cruelty remained him.

    The Shame of Motley Raphael Sabatini
  • He laughed as Swope struck out at him, and continued his hectoring banter.

    Hidden Water Dane Coolidge
  • Odi profanum vulgus, I hate your swearing and hectoring fellows.

    The Biglow Papers James Russell Lowell
British Dictionary definitions for hectoring


to bully or torment
a blustering bully
Word Origin
C17: after Hector (the son of Priam), in the sense: a bully


(classical myth) a son of King Priam of Troy, who was killed by Achilles
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hectoring



1650s, from Hector (n.), in reference to his encouragement of his fellow Trojans to keep up the fight. Related: Hectored; hectoring.



late 14c., "a valiant warrior," 1650s as slang for "a blustering, turbulent, pervicacious, noisy fellow" [Johnson], Heck for short, both in reference to the provocative character of Hektor, Trojan hero, oldest son of Priam and Hecuba, in the "Iliad." It represents Greek hektor, literally "holder, stayer;" an agent noun from ekhein "to have, hold, possess" (see scheme). The word was used mid-1600s in reference to London street gangs. As a proper name it is rare in England but used in Scotland to render Gaelic Eachdonn.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hectoring in Culture

Hector definition

In classical mythology, a prince of Troy and the bravest of the Trojan warriors. At the end of the Trojan War, Achilles killed Hector and then dragged his body behind a chariot around the walls of Troy.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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