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

Synonyms for Hector

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hectoring

Contemporary Examples of hectoring

Historical Examples of hectoring

  • 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 for hector

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

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

Culture definitions for hectoring


In classical mythology, a prince of Troy and the bravest of the Trojan warriors. At the end of the Trojan War (see also 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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.