has·​sle | \ ˈha-səl \

Definition of hassle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a heated often protracted argument : wrangle embroiling myself in a long, exasperating hassle with masons— S. J. Perelman
2 : a violent skirmish : fight
3a : a state of confusion : turmoil all hassle and hurly-burly— Ellery Queen
b : an annoying or troublesome concern avoid the hassle of filling out paperwork flight delays and other hassles of holiday travel too much of a hassle to bother with


hassled; hassling\ ˈha-​s(ə-​)liŋ \

Definition of hassle (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: argue, fight hassled with the umpire

transitive verb

: to annoy persistently or acutely : harass gets hassled by the cops

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for hassle

Synonyms: Noun

brush, encounter, run-in, scrape, skirmish

Synonyms: Verb

bait, haze, heckle, needle, ride, taunt, tease

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of hassle in a Sentence


All this paperwork is a hassle. They've had to deal with flight delays and all of the other hassles of holiday travel. He got into a hassle with his landlord.


Other kids were always hassling her because she was overweight. I'm sick of being hassled by telemarketers. I don't have time to hassle with you about this! Just do what I tell you to do!
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The overwhelming majority of people in those states chose Real ID over a standard one, even though there’s more hassle involved in obtaining it, such as presenting more documentation and doing it in person. rather than online. Sean P. Murphy, BostonGlobe.com, "RMV letter offered convenience but led some drivers to miss out on Real ID," 2 Apr. 2018 This ensures that each cut of meat is cooked evenly and there’s no hassle of dealing with leftover turkey parts. Fox News, "6 biggest turkey myths debunked," 3 Nov. 2015 But all that goodwill and many years of friendship are nothing compared to the hassles Jefferson faces when he's asked about where his buddy James will sign this offseason as a free agent. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Richard Jefferson jokingly 'ends' friendship with LeBron James," 27 June 2018 Still, most people who are ready to move agree to pay any extra fees that are demanded to avoid a hassle. Sean P. Murphy, BostonGlobe.com, "Government demands back $1,600 it paid to a quadriplegic while he worked as a summer intern," 29 Apr. 2018 Luckily 2018 bestowed upon us a couple so instantly recognizable without the hassle of shopping for a million outdated pieces to get the costume right. Tara Gonzalez, Glamour, "Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson Is the Only Couples Costume That Matters This Halloween," 5 Oct. 2018 From the pool to the bar and home theater, this manse is the epitome of a Las Vegas party pad, without the hassle of the crowds and prying eyes of the Strip. Becky Bracken, Real Estate News and Advice | Realtor.com®, "'Pawn Stars' Star Chumlee Cuts Price on His Las Vegas Party Pad," 2 Oct. 2018 There are steps travelers can take to try to alleviate some of the hassle and frustration of finding parking at the airport. Kelly Yamanouchi, ajc, "Hartsfield-Jackson parking squeeze causes travel hassles," 29 June 2018 That way the host can have a nice surprise and will be able to appreciate the gesture without the hassle of interrupting meal prep and hosting duties. Melissa Locker, Southern Living, "Should You Bring Flowers To A Dinner Party?," 29 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Many expect the company to finally get back into the graphics game enough to hassle Nvidia too. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Why you should or shouldn't buy a GeForce RTX laptop," 29 Jan. 2019 Local authorities would routinely hassle him and his father. Eun-young Jeong, WSJ, "A Perilous Journey to Escape Kim Jong Un’s North Korea," 20 Dec. 2018 Black kids are subject to more corporal punishment at school, more likely to be hassled or killed by cops, more likely to be turned down for loans or mortgages. David Roberts, Vox, "Please don’t spank your kids," 3 July 2018 Maxine Waters tells activists to hassle Trump Cabinet officials? David Weigel, Washington Post, "Can Democrats get their base excited about a court fight?," 30 June 2018 The idea that this is a restoration of federalism is a howler—states have never in the history of the republic enjoyed such power to hassle people outside their borders. James Freeman, WSJ, "When Will Washington Stop Helping Amazon?," 22 June 2018 No one hassles anyone else, or judges them, for being in prison — that seems to only happen among middle-class folks outside. Tina Jordan, New York Times, "How Billy Idol’s ‘Rebel Yell’ Fueled a Debut Thriller," 11 May 2018 Smarty, who was hassled early by premature moves from horses taken out of their best running styles, deserved to win. Dick Jerardi, Philly.com, "Unbeaten Justify on cusp of horse racing history with Belmont Stakes days away," 6 June 2018 French and Sue are hired by one of their boss’ untrustworthy associates, who asks them to track down somebody who maybe doesn’t deserve to be hassled. Noel Murray, latimes.com, "Tough guy Scott Adkins is the right fit for 'The Debt Collector'," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hassle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of hassle


1945, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1951, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for hassle

Verb and Noun

perhaps blend of harass and hustle

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hassle

Dictionary Entries near hassle








Statistics for hassle

Last Updated

20 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hassle

The first known use of hassle was in 1945

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hassle



English Language Learners Definition of hassle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something that is annoying or that causes trouble
US : a fight or argument



English Language Learners Definition of hassle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to bother or annoy (someone) constantly or repeatedly
US : to argue or fight


has·​sle | \ ˈha-səl \

Kids Definition of hassle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that annoys or bothers Filling out these forms is a hassle.
2 : an argument or fight She got into a hassle with the neighbor.


hassled; hassling

Kids Definition of hassle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to annoy continuously : harass “He hassles all the smaller kids on the bus.”— Carl Hiaasen, Hoot

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on hassle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hassle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hassle

Spanish Central: Translation of hassle

Nglish: Translation of hassle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hassle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hassle

What made you want to look up hassle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


marked by fawning attentiveness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!