gang·​sta ˈgaŋ(k)-stə How to pronounce gangsta (audio)
often attributive
: a member of an inner-city street gang
: a performer of gangsta rap

Examples of gangsta in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Compared with Lower Delmas and G9 areas, the graffiti is less revolutionary, more West Coast gangsta; there are portraits of 2Pac and Ice Cube. Jason Motlagh, Rolling Stone, 26 Nov. 2023 Jefferson gives audiences just a brief taste of this manuscript, imagining a stereotypical conversation between two gangstas, played by Keith David and Okieriete Onaodowan. Peter Debruge, Variety, 9 Sep. 2023 The East Coast old guard bristled at dance and found the idea of Southern gangsta rap, and Southern women gangsta rappers, laughable. Zandria Robinson, Glamour, 2 Nov. 2021 This is James Franco’s caricature of the ultimate Southern gangsta, a creature that’s all cornrows, cocked guns, and cultural appropriation. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 15 Mar. 2023 He’s gonzo, gung-ho, and gangsta. Kyle Smith, National Review, 7 Mar. 2021 Since their formation in the early 1990s, members of Cypress Hill have regularly infused tracks with rhymed odes to THC, gangsta-driven boasts about moving pounds of product and barb-tongued protests against harsh drug sentencing. Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 2022 Black male gangsta archetype, punctuating satire as the new mode for entertainment. Malik Peay, Rolling Stone, 7 Feb. 2023 Dogg recalls a summit where Warwick invited him and other gangsta rappers to her house, warning them to stop using inflammatory lyrics about women. Los Angeles Times, 28 Dec. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gangsta.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


respelling of gangster reflecting loss of final r

First Known Use

1988, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of gangsta was in 1988

Dictionary Entries Near gangsta

Cite this Entry

“Gangsta.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Apr. 2024.

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