Transferred usage of hekelen (to comb flax or hemp with a heckle), from Middle English hekele (a comb for flax or hemp), from Middle Dutch hekelen (to prickle, irritate), from Proto-Germanic *hakilōną (related to hackle)
- (transitive) To question harshly in an attempt to find or reveal weaknesses. [from later 18th c.]
- (transitive) To insult, tease, make fun of or badger.
- Promise that you won't heckle me after my performance.
question harshly in an attempt to reveal weaknesses
insult, tease, make fun of, badger
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