[ hak-uh l ]
/ ˈhæk əl /


verb (used with object), hack·led, hack·ling.

Angling. to equip with a hackle.
to comb, as flax or hemp.


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Idioms for hackle

    raise one's hackles, to arouse one's anger: Such officiousness always raises my hackles.
Also hatchel, heckle (for defs 5, 7).

Origin of hackle

1400–50; late Middle English hakell; see heckle


hack·ler, noun

Definition for hackles (2 of 2)

[ hak-uh l ]
/ ˈhæk əl /

verb (used with object), hack·led, hack·ling.

to cut roughly; hack; mangle.

Origin of hackle

1570–80; hack1 + -le; cognate with Middle Dutch hakkelen
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for hackles

British Dictionary definitions for hackles (1 of 2)

/ (ˈhækəlz) /

pl n

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)

British Dictionary definitions for hackles (2 of 2)

/ (ˈhækəl) /


any of the long slender feathers on the necks of poultry and other birds
  1. parts of an artificial fly made from hackle feathers, representing the legs and sometimes the wings of a real fly
  2. short for hackle fly
a feathered ornament worn in the headdress of some British regiments
a steel flax comb

verb (tr)

to comb (flax) using a hackle
See also hackles

Derived forms of hackle

hackler, noun

Word Origin for hackle

C15: hakell, probably from Old English; variant of heckle; see hatchel
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

Idioms and Phrases with hackles


see raise someone's hackles.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.