[hee-ler] /ˈhi lər/

a person who shoes.
(US) See ward heeler
a person or thing that heels
(Austral & NZ) a dog that herds cattle by biting at their heels

1660s, “one who puts heels on shoes and boots,” agent noun from heel (n.1). Meaning “unscrupulous political lackey,” U.S. slang, 1877, from the notion of one who follows at the heels of a political boss, no doubt coined with the image of a dog in mind. See heel (v.1).


An apprentice; novice reporter; cub

Related Terms

ward heeler

[1960s+ Newspaper office; perhaps fr the obedience of a trained dog who stays at the heel of the master]

Read Also:

  • Heel-fly

    noun 1. .

  • Heeling

    [heel] /hil/ noun 1. the back part of the human foot, below and behind the ankle. 2. an analogous part in other vertebrates. 3. either hind foot or hoof of some animals, as the horse. 4. the foot as a whole: He was hung by the heels. 5. the part of a stocking, shoe, or […]

  • Heeling-tank

    noun, Nautical. 1. either of two lateral ballast tanks permitting an icebreaker to heel and crush ice to either side.

  • Heelpiece

    [heel-pees] /ˈhilˌpis/ noun 1. Shoemaking. 2. an endpiece of anything; a terminal part. /ˈhiːlˌpiːs/ noun 1. the piece of a shoe, stocking, etc, designed to fit the heel

  • Heelplate

    [heel-pleyt] /ˈhilˌpleɪt/ noun 1. a small metal attached to the of a shoe to protect it against excessive wear.

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