from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To try to embarrass and annoy (someone speaking or performing in public) by questions, gibes, or objections; badger.
- transitive v. To comb (flax or hemp) with a hatchel.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To insult, tease, make fun of or badger.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- Same as hackle.
- transitive v. To interrogate, or ply with questions, esp. with severity or antagonism, as a candidate for the ministry.
- transitive v. To shout questions or jibes at (a public speaker), so as to disconcert him or render his talk ineffective.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An instrument for cleaning, sorting, and straightening raw flax and hemp: same as hatchel.
- To comb, as flax or hemp; hatchel.
- To question, especially in a severe or antagonistic manner, as a parliamentary candidate in Great Britain.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. comb with a heckle
- n. a comb for separating flax fibers
- v. challenge aggressively
Middle English hekelen, to comb with a hatchel, from hekel, hatchel, from Middle Dutch; see keg- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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 *hakilōnan (related to hackle) (Wiktionary)