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  1. a person who heels shoes.
  2. ward heeler.

Origin of heeler

First recorded in 1630–40; heel1 + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for heeler

Historical Examples

  • He is a heeler for one of the most notorious of the aldermanic gang.

    Chicago, Satan's Sanctum

    L. O. Curon

  • A certain "heeler" put me on to a disorderly house where we could get some stones.

  • I expect Mr. Heeler's waiting for you in "Moonraker's," father.

    Hobson's Choice

    Harold Brighouse

  • Now go to Mr. Heeler, he said, and tell him I'm very ill, and I came and told you.

    Hobson's Choice

    Harold Brighouse

  • Now I ask you, Mr. Heeler, man to man, is this work for a foreman shoe hand?

    Hobson's Choice

    Harold Brighouse

British Dictionary definitions for heeler


  1. US See ward heeler
  2. a person or thing that heels
  3. Australian and NZ a dog that herds cattle by biting at their heels
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

Word Origin and History for heeler


1660s, "one who puts heels on shoes and boots," agent noun from heel (n.1). Meaning "unscrupulous political lackey," U.S. slang, 1877, from the notion of one who follows at the heels of a political boss, no doubt coined with the image of a dog in mind. See heel (v.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper