has·​sle | \ ˈha-səl How to pronounce hassle (audio) \

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 How to pronounce hassling (audio) \

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

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Synonyms for hassle

Synonyms: Noun

brush, encounter, run-in, scrape, skirmish

Synonyms: Verb

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

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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!
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And the translation between you and the waiter is just such a (expletive) hassle. Washington Post, "New ‘SNL’ player used anti-Chinese slur in 2018 YouTube post," 12 Sep. 2019 Or skip the hassle of tipping altogether and opt for an all-inclusive line where gratuity is included. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "Cruise Ship Etiquette Tips: A Primer For Before You Sail," 4 Sep. 2019 But for prospective tourists, such requirements tend to be understood as little more than an expensive, time-consuming hassle—and a good reason to travel elsewhere. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "These countries have the fewest visa requirements for tourists," 3 Sep. 2019 The bureaucratic hassle, cost and risk of rejection in the visa application process has long made Poles feel like second-class allies compared to Western Europeans. Vanessa Gera, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump cancels Poland trip because of hurricane," 30 Aug. 2019 Some neighborhoods, however, have rebelled against undergrounding because of construction hassles, the city’s inability to stick to schedules and unattractive utility boxes blocking sidewalks when projects are complete. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego updating utility undergrounding policy to reduce confusion," 21 Aug. 2019 But honestly, one of the accounts listed above would be easier to manage for most people because deposits can be made in person at the branch, through Zelle or other no-hassle means. cleveland.com, "What if you sell your car, but the buyer doesn’t transfer the title out of your name? Money Matters," 14 Aug. 2019 That part can be a hassle, particularly when shopping on peer-to-peer marketplaces that don’t offer a return policy. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "There’s never been a better time—or more need—to buy your clothes used," 16 Aug. 2019 Plane travel can be a hassle at best and a panic-inducing experience at worst. Anna Washenko, Ars Technica, "British Airways testing VR headsets for first-class passengers this year," 14 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

He and the other Savage Assassins members have better things to do than be hassled by police, Upton said. Los Angeles Times, "‘This ain’t “Sons of Anarchy” ': Savage Assassins say officers trashed their party," 12 Sep. 2019 The record was championed by the late Cleveland promoter Steve Popovich, who willed it into a multiplatinum, global smash by tirelessly working the phones and hassling radio stations to play it. Andrea Simakis, cleveland.com, "‘Bat Out of Hell — The Musical’ in New York is a gloriously messy, over-the-top fever dream of fun," 30 Aug. 2019 With its own entrance and parking area, the gym offers an environment where the players won’t feel hassled. Kelsey Murrietta, azcentral, "It's hoops heaven at this Scottsdale family's dream home," 29 Aug. 2019 An ex-diplomat who helped organize a technology forum in Beijing was hassled by authorities who wanted to question him. New York Times, "A Koch Executive’s Harassment in China Adds to Fears Among Visitors," 11 July 2019 Over the past month, riders with bike-hailing startups have also been hassled by union agents to pay five times the original price of union dues. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "Bike-hailing startups in Lagos may soon have to pay thousands of dollars in state fees," 22 July 2019 The ministry has sought to tackle issues like unemployment, broken water taps, and pregnant women being hassled during monthly food-ration distributions. Nina Strochlic, National Geographic, "In Uganda, a unique urban experiment is under way," 17 June 2019 Back in 1997’s Men in Black, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones hit the pavement investigating New York crime, hassling a shady pawn shop guy, swinging by the morgue, chasing some exterminator out to Flushing Meadows. Darren Franich, EW.com, "Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson reunite for eerily bland Men in Black: International: EW review," 12 June 2019 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," 6 Mar. 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for hassle

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hassle

The first known use of hassle was in 1945

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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 How to pronounce hassle (audio) \

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

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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).


to spread over or through

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