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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hectoring
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He looked at me in such an abject way that for the life of me I couldn't keep up quite the high, hectoring vein I had adopted.

  • They were irritating, hectoring, worrying, frantic messages.

    Bones Edgar Wallace
  • Never you mind,” said Melun in a hectoring voice, “it is my affair, and not yours.

    The Crime Club William Holt-White
  • Even in such an hour as this the habit of hectoring cruelty remained him.

    The Shame of Motley Raphael Sabatini
  • The popular conception of Jeffrey as a hectoring and blatant opponent of Wordsworth is not substantiated by the review.

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.


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

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 American Heritage® 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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