- a comblike instrument for separating the fibers of flax, hemp, etc.
- any of the long, slender feathers at the neck of a rooster, peacock, pigeon, etc.
- such feathers, collectively
- a tuft of feathers from a rooster's neck, used in making artificial flies
- a fly made with a hackle
- [pl.] the hairs on a dog's neck and back that bristle, as when the dog is ready to fight
Origin of hackleMiddle English hechele (akin to German hechel) from Old English an unverified form hæcel from Indo-European base an unverified form keg-, a peg, hook from source hack, hook: senses 2, 3, and 4, probably influenced, influence by dialect, dialectal hackle, bird's plumage, animal's skin from Old English hacele
transitive verb-·led, -·ling
- to separate the fibers of (flax, hemp, etc.) with a hackle
- Rare to supply (a fishing fly) with a hackle
get one's hackles up