[ hed-l ]

  1. one of the sets of vertical cords or wires in a loom, forming the principal part of the harness that guides the warp threads.

Origin of heddle

1505–15; perhaps representing Old English *hefedl, a metathetic variant of hefeld (Middle English helde, ModE heald), cognate with Old Saxon hevild; akin to Old Norse hafald

Words Nearby heddle

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use heddle in a sentence

  • Each thread or group of threads of the warp passes through an opening (eye) of a heddle.

    Textiles | William H. Dooley
  • The next movement of the heddle frame crossed the threads over the filling and made a new opening for the return of the shuttle.

    Textiles and Clothing | Kate Heintz Watson
  • K, a strong wooden ruler, connecting the front heddle with its treddle.

  • These tape-looms are a truly ancient form of appliance for the hand-weaving of narrow bands,—a heddle-frame.

    Home Life in Colonial Days | Alice Morse Earle
  • The Greek loom may have been furnished with a heddle but the drawings are not clear on this point.

British Dictionary definitions for heddle


/ (ˈhɛdəl) /

  1. one of a set of frames of vertical wires on a loom, each wire having an eye through which a warp thread can be passed

Origin of heddle

Old English hefeld chain; related to Old Norse hafald, Middle Low German hevelte

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