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huck·​ster ˈhək-stər How to pronounce huckster (audio)
: hawker, peddler
especially : one who sells or advertises something in an aggressive, dishonest, or annoying way
: one who produces promotional material for commercial clients especially for radio or television
hucksterism noun


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huckstered; huckstering ˈhək-st(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce huckster (audio)

transitive verb

: to deal in or bargain over
: to promote aggressively

Did you know?

Huckster comes from the Dutch noun hokester and verb hoeken, which means "to peddle."

Examples of huckster in a Sentence

Noun hucksters outside the auditorium selling everything from key chains to life-size cutouts of the performers
Recent Examples on the Web
Some became performers and hucksters, craftspeople and con artists, drifters and thieves. Caleb Madison, The Atlantic, 28 Oct. 2023 Like any religious huckster, though perhaps a shade more honest, Willie is a master of emotional manipulation and rhetorical force. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 10 Oct. 2023 The Conjuring–verse is an exercise in branding, the brainchild of master hucksters Ed and Lorraine Warren. Vulture, 15 Sep. 2023 At the turn of the 20th century, the trans huckster Harry Allen was a notorious outlaw in the Pacific Northwest. Evan Moffitt, New York Times, 5 Sep. 2023 Entrepreneurial huckster Vivek Ramaswamy has graduated from being the court jester of corporate governance to now becoming a serious contender for the GOP presidential nomination as some 5% of primary Republican voters indicate they are entertained by his antics. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Fortune, 31 Aug. 2023 For a moment at least, Ramaswamy had pulled the elemental trick of both a politician and a huckster: making a banal idea seem forgotten, and new. Benjamin Wallace-Wells, The New Yorker, 17 Aug. 2023 Inevitably, these hucksters and screw-ups used their particular talents to help the needy. Time, 11 Aug. 2023 Denial has been co-opted too by contrarian figureheads, extolled by hucksters whose entire schtick is to define themselves entirely in opposition to the mainstream. David Robert Grimes, Scientific American, 1 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History



Middle English hukster, from Middle Dutch hokester, from hoeken to peddle

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1592, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of huckster was in the 13th century


Dictionary Entries Near huckster

Cite this Entry

“Huckster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: one that peddles : hawker
hucksters selling souvenirs
: a writer of advertising especially for radio or television

More from Merriam-Webster on huckster

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