From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Hector and Héctor



From Hector (in Greek and Roman mythology, a character in Homer’s Iliad who is the greatest warrior of Troy), from Late Middle English Hector (warrior with the qualities of Hector),[1] from Latin Hectōr or Ancient Greek Ἕκτωρ (Héktōr), from ἕκτωρ (héktōr, holding fast), from ἔχειν (ékhein),[2] present active infinitive of ἔχω (ékhō, to have, own, possess; to hold), from Proto-Indo-European *seǵʰ- (to hold; to overpower).

The verb is derived from the noun.[3]



hector (plural hectors)

  1. Sometimes in the form Hector: a blustering, noisy, turbulent fellow; a blusterer, bully.
    • 1672, Tho[mas] Shadwell, Epsom-Wells. A Comedy, Acted at the Duke’s Theatre, London: Printed for R. VVellington [], published 1704, →OCLC, act I, scene i, page 8:
      Luc[ia]. VVhat would you do you dowty Hectors? / Kick. Hectors! upon my honour, if we can find them out, we'll beat your Gallants for this. / [] Luc. Advant, you Hectors, we are not fit for you: []



hector (third-person singular simple present hectors, present participle hectoring, simple past and past participle hectored)

  1. (transitive) To dominate or intimidate in a blustering way; to bully, to domineer.
    Synonyms: terrorise, terrorize
    • 1700, Jeremy Collier, “A Second Conference between Philotimus and Philalethes”, in Essays upon Several Moral Subjects, in Two Parts. [], 4th edition, London: Printed for Richard Sare [], and H. Hindmarsh, →OCLC, page 55:
      Theſe Nimrods (ſay they) grew great by the Strength of their Limbs and their Vices, engraved their Murthers upon their Shields, and Hectored all the Little and Peaceable People into Peaſantry.
    • 1712, [John Arbuthnot], “Of Some Quarrels that Happen’d after Peg was Taken into the Family”, in John Bull Still in His Senses: Being the Third Part of Law is a Bottomless-pit. [], London: Printed for John Morphew, [], →OCLC, page 28:
      It was a common thing for an honeſt Man, when he came Home at Night, to find another Fellow domineering in his Family, hectoring his Servants, calling for Supper, and pretending to go to Bed with his Wife.
    • 1973, Decisions and Orders of the National Labor Relations Board (Law Books Recommended for Libraries, Labor Law; 134), volume 196, Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, →OCLC, page 1024:
      The complaint alleges that on or about February 5 and March 8, Respondent, by Mrs. Flynn, violated Section 8(a)(1) of the Act by hectoring employees for seeking union representation.
  2. (intransitive) To behave like a hector or bully; to bluster, to swagger; to bully.
    Synonym: huff
    • 1684 February 4, William Vaughan, “[Appendix.] XXXI. A Letter from William Vaughan, Esq. Containing a Journal of Transactions during His Imprisonment, &c. to Nathaniel Weare, Esq. Agent in London.”, in Jeremy Belknap, The History of New-Hampshire. [], volume I, Boston, Mass.: Re-printed for the author, published 1792, →OCLC, page lix:
      [] I was ſent for by the marſhall, huffed and hectored ſtrangely, thretned, &c., in fine, muſte give bonds to the good behaviour; I refuſed, []
    • 1920, D[avid] H[erbert] Lawrence, “Alvina Becomes Allaye”, in The Lost Girl, London: Martin Secker [], →OCLC, page 190:
      Leave me alone! Will you leave me alone! Hectored by women all my life—hectored by women—first one, then another. I won't stand it—I won't stand it—
    • 2000 November 7, Eric Forth, “Business of the House”, in Parliamentary Debates (Hansard): House of Commons Official Report[1], volume 141, London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 8 December 2018, page 249, column 248:
      I will be the sole judge of what I think is effective and of what I should do. I will stick by my judgment, and I will not be lectured or hectored by the hon. Gentleman or anyone else.

Alternative forms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hector, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 21 April 2019.
  2. ^ Hector, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1898; “hector”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  3. ^ hector, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1898.

Further reading[edit]