[ hek-uhl ]
/ ˈhɛk əl /

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

to harass (a public speaker, performer, etc.) with impertinent questions, gibes, or the like; badger.


Origin of heckle

1275–1325; Middle English hekelen, variant of hechelen to comb flax; akin to hackle1, hatchel

Related forms

heck·ler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for heckle

British Dictionary definitions for heckle


/ (ˈhɛkəl) /


to interrupt (a public speaker, performer, etc) by comments, questions, or taunts
Also: hackle, hatchel (tr) to comb (hemp or flax)


an instrument for combing flax or hemp

Derived Forms

heckler, noun

Word Origin for heckle

C15: Northern and East Anglian form of hackle
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