Definition of hackle in English:

hackle

noun

  • 1hacklesErectile hairs along the back of a dog or other animal that rise when it is angry or alarmed.

    • ‘Bowering's hackles rise and then just as quickly fall again.’
    • ‘Isabella's hackles rose, immediately running to my defense.’
    • ‘Lee's hackles rose, his ears flattened, and a low growl began deep in his chest.’
    • ‘Black throat-feathers bristled like the hackles of an angered wolf, while its dark eyes were set off by striking ‘eyebrows’ - wattles of vivid red flesh.’
    • ‘It bared its teeth, hackles bristling, and snarled.’
    • ‘Its hackles raised and its teeth bared ferociously; she was scared.’
    • ‘With malevolent eye highlighted in red and throat feathers raised like the hackles of a dog, he was distinctly intimidating.’
    • ‘Her eyes practically exploded with flames and her hair rose a little, like a dog rising its hackles.’
    • ‘His hackles rising, he switched into ‘protector’ mode.’
    • ‘Sekher felt his hackles rise, claws extruded in fear.’
    • ‘Their thick hackles rose and their lips curled back into snarls as they spotted the two.’
    • ‘The smell conjured up terrible, dog-like images of danger and violence, and the hackles on the tomcat's neck stood at attention.’
    • ‘A pack of wolves, fifty at least, were coming toward her, hackles raised, teeth bared, snarling.’
    • ‘The dogs growled and slowed, their hackles rising.’
    • ‘The dog stared, ears flattening, and she saw his hackles rise along his spine.’
    • ‘Next to me, I could almost feel Cale's hackles rising in defiance and uneasiness, much like a cornered dog about to make a break for it between the gaps in the ring of its attackers.’
    • ‘He saw his snarling muzzle clamped tight, saw bristling hackles and a bright amber eye wide with terror - just as something struck him.’
    • ‘The boar saw the sword and his hackles rose; the hunters feared for their lord's life.’
    • ‘Bebe puffed up her little body, her short fur trying to ridge along her back into hackles, her bared fangs at Daisy's throat.’
  • 2often hacklesA long, narrow feather on the neck or saddle of a domestic rooster or other bird.

    • ‘Another distinct bird is the Nicobar pigeon with its metallic green hackles and sheen on its plumage.’
    • ‘Even before they hit the ground both birds fan their hackles out, resembling nothing so much as a suddenly opened umbrella.’
    1. 2.1Fishing A feather wound around a fishing fly so that its filaments are splayed out.
      • ‘Different coloured hackle fibres for tail and throat hackles can work well.’
      • ‘I clip off all the bottom and top hackles leaving the side hackles to ensure the fly sits in the surface film.’
      • ‘Take ribbing wire through the hackle again in open’
      • ‘Wind the hackle evenly down the body to the tail.’
      • ‘Wind on the hackle for three turns towards the eye.’
    2. 2.2 Fly-fishing feathers collectively.
      • ‘At the front I use two or three strands of three inches of round rubber hackle.’
      • ‘One of the eyes was seated a bit crooked and the tuft of hackle was a tad twisted, but the overall result looked pretty good, especially after several additional sips of aged rum.’
      • ‘I believe that the palmered body hackle causes a disturbance in the water and this is an attraction itself.’
      • ‘He casts the royal coachman - white wings and russet hackle, pheasant tippits and peacock herl - to feign the nymph and summon rainbows from a shadow world.’
      • ‘Twist peacock herl ends and wind on in front of hackle to form a neat head.’
    3. 2.3 A bunch of feathers in a military headdress.
      • ‘He will attempt to claim credit for preserving individual regimental identities within the new Scottish regiment by keeping their traditional cap badges, hackles and other distinctive traditions.’
      • ‘Down the main street strides the major of the army, an icy wind pulling at the red hackle on his bonnet.’
      • ‘Faced with the famous red hackles of the the organization, they dropped their bags and applauded.’
      • ‘A soldier with 16 years' experience warned that there would be a mutiny if the symbolic red hackle was dropped as part of the regimental restructuring.’
  • 3A steel comb for separating flax fibers.

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Dress or comb with a hackle.

    • ‘In August we shall keep many people busy with retting and hackling, and by late September have much linen thread to spin.’
    • ‘Then the stems were hackled (from the Old High German word that also gave us hook) to remove any remaining non-fibrous material by drawing them through a big comb consisting of a bed of nails in a wooden board.’
    • ‘Spinning wheels lined the walls and at the central tables others sorted, hackled and carded the wool.’
    separate, dress, card, tease, hackle, heckle, hatchel
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • make someone's hackles rise

    • Make someone angry or indignant.

      • ‘I knew it was a grin, but the bared teeth still made my hackles rise.’
      • ‘As nondescript and unassuming as he seemed, his mere presence made my hackles rise.’
      • ‘The sound of footsteps behind him made his hackles rise.’
      • ‘Why, it makes my hackles rise in self-righteous horror!’
      • ‘The sudden picture of Bruce sitting so close to her, hands clasped, made his hackles rise.’
      annoy, irritate, exasperate, anger, irk, vex, put out, nettle, provoke, incense, gall, rile, infuriate, antagonize, get on someone's nerves, rub up the wrong way, make someone's blood boil, ruffle someone's feathers, ruffle, try someone's patience
      offend, pique, peeve, rankle with
      aggravate, needle, make someone see red, hack off, get someone's back up, get someone's goat, get under someone's skin, get up someone's nose, get in someone's hair, get someone's dander up, bug, get, miff
      wind up, get at, nark, get across, get on someone's wick
      tee off, tick off, burn up, rankle, ride, gravel
      give someone the pip
      piss off
      exacerbate, hump, rasp
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English ( hackle): variant of hatchel.

Pronunciation:

hackle

/ˈhak(ə)l/