Definition of heck in English:



  • 1Expressing surprise, frustration, or dismay.

    ‘oh heck, I can't for the life of me remember’
    • ‘Flipping heck, dash it, and crumbs - I think I'm becoming a potty mouth.’
    • ‘I'm sure many of these places could find new life - heck, I'd happily take a few over, renovate and re-use!’
    • ‘But heck, I couldn't image pressing the 90 lb that I now do, a couple of years ago.’
    • ‘Yes, its not so original, but heck, I am sure you can relate to it.’
    • ‘But heck, it's fun, and if you've seen the movie, then you'd probably be interested in taking the test, too.’
    • ‘So, it may not be fruitful to do something like that, but heck, I'd try it.’
    • ‘Don's family always remembers my birthday - heck, his mom even sends me a check each year.’
    • ‘It worked almost too well, resistance was indeed futile, but heck, they probably could've swore at me and the results would have been similar.’
    • ‘I'm not sure the neighbours were too impressed, but heck - I was worshipping!’
    • ‘It's not an easy book, but, heck, there are plenty of easy books around.’
    • ‘Flippin heck, this is in another class altogether.’
    • ‘But heck, most women just buy them in quantity because they're gorgeous.’
    • ‘I surprised my parents, heck I even surprised Mrs. Morgan, the old lady next door.’
    • ‘I can remember my mother going out in a see-through top 10 days after my sister was born and I thought, blinking heck.’
    • ‘Oh heck, it could even be a combination of all the reasons.’
    • ‘At Swedish weddings, the custom is to toast the bride, groom, bridesmaids and, well heck, anyone else who catches your eye, with schnapps.’
    • ‘I'm sure I'm making more of this than the event was worth but, heck, that's what weblogs are for.’
    • ‘I was going to quote only a part of it, but heck, it's all relevant so here it is.’
    • ‘OK, so we know it's bad to sunbathe, we have read about the damage to our skin, but heck, as soon as the sun shines it's out with the deck chair and face in full rays.’
    • ‘The temptation to take a train to Stockholm… heck, even to Zagreb just seemed fascinating to me.’
    1. 1.1Used for emphasis in questions and exclamations.
      ‘what the heck's the matter?’
      • ‘The only question was, what the heck was she supposed to do about it?’
      • ‘Because in the final analysis the political is political and the truth of the matter is the personal should stay the heck out of it.’
      • ‘So, my question is: does that columnist know what the heck he is talking about?’
      • ‘All that was going through my mind was a question asking what the heck he was doing.’
      • ‘Which brings up the inevitable question: What the heck has Bob been doing?’
      • ‘One question remains to this day: what the heck was Hawk doing during those 10 years?’
      • ‘She was just about to ask why the heck it should matter to him, when a scream of pain came from behind her.’
      • ‘The question ruminating in my mind was: How the heck did they get all this?’
      • ‘Which begs the question: where the heck was Miller the first four weeks of the season?’
      • ‘He didn't really think they were ugly, but why the heck did she ask a question like that?’
      • ‘It shouldn't have taken mother that long to cook dinner, no matter what the heck she wanted to stick down my throat.’
      • ‘Dex looked at me and gave a freaked out smile as to say where the heck did that question come from after one creepy long stare?’
      • ‘So the real question may be why the heck are we using corks to seal wine bottles anyway?’
      • ‘But it mattered not, because wherever the heck we were, the place contained a charity shop!’
      • ‘Jen mentions Jason's big question - how the heck do bloggers have the time to write so much stuff?’
      • ‘The question to ask is: What the heck does this have to do with being a glorified catalog retailer?’
      • ‘I looked at my parents questionably and wondered what the heck they could've been talking about.’
      • ‘And who the heck was this beautiful, poisonous woman, for that matter?’
      • ‘Just one question though - why the heck do they photoshop these girls so much?’
    2. 1.2Used for emphasis in various statements or exclamations.
      ‘it was a heck of a lot of money’
      • ‘He's funny, sexy as hell, a heck of a nice guy, unmarried, good values, yadda yadda.’
      • ‘This was going to be one heck of a frustrating experience for the both of them.’
      • ‘That seems like a heck of a lot of money to sit on your butt all day.’
      • ‘That's one heck of a fat lip.’


Late 19th century (originally northern English dialect): euphemistic alteration of hell.