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

Visitors, however, shielded by a determined tourism industry, need not fear the slightest hassle. Zachary Lewis, cleveland.com, "Puerto Rico bounces back from storms, protests as prime tourist destination," 17 Sep. 2019 Veterans Workman, Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier and Heath Hembree have permanent spots on the bench; Hembree, still on the IL, sits in the dugout for now to avoid the hassle. BostonGlobe.com, "“This is definitely the most,” said bullpen catcher Mike Brenly, who’s in charge of getting all the arms ready. “It’s definitely been a challenge trying to maneuver around and get guys warm. It keeps it fun. You never know when you’re name is going to be called. Crazy busy, but fun.”," 14 Sep. 2019 Risk versus benefit Parents, adults and children with peanut allergies, and advocates who spoke during a public hearing this afternoon contended the risks and hassle were more than worth it. Jennifer Couzin-frankel, Science | AAAS, "First peanut allergy treatment gains backing from FDA advisory panel," 13 Sep. 2019 Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, often a hassle because of summer crowding, will become even more of a headache the last week of July and first week of August because of road maintenance in one of the park’s most popular areas. John Meyer, The Know, "Traffic at Rocky Mountain National Park is about to get even worse," 25 July 2019 By providing an image of an empty room to a virtual staging service that digitally enhances it with a high-end sofa and thoughtfully placed art work, agents and homeowners avoid the hassle of hauling in a whole new look. Anna Bahney, CNN, "Looking to sell your home? Make sure it has web appeal," 22 July 2019 While not all cordless vacuums are going to be as strong as their corded counterparts, for many people their hassle-free design more than makes up for this. Julianne Ross, CNN Underscored, "Cordless vacuums are stronger than ever — shop the best picks for your budget," 29 July 2019 America's shoppers want convenient, hassle-free experiences. Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN, "Walmart and Nordstrom are building stores that don't sell anything," 27 July 2019 Weber Spirit E-310 Fuel: Propane | Cooking surface: 529 square inches This is a great gas grill with assembly that’s hassle-free. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Your Ultimate Grill Buying Guide—Tested and Approved," 18 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Daniel Smith, a Lincoln football coach, said one security guard hassled a Lincoln player’s mother. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Community leaders want San Clemente High to apologize after alleged racial slurs against Lincoln students," 16 Sep. 2019 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

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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Dictionary Entries near hassle








Statistics for hassle

Last Updated

16 Oct 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).


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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