hus·​tings | \ ˈhə-stiŋz How to pronounce hustings (audio) \

Definition of hustings

1a : a local court formerly held in various English municipalities and still held infrequently in London
b : a local court in some cities in Virginia
2a : a raised platform used until 1872 for the nomination of candidates for the British Parliament and for election speeches
b : an election platform : stump
c : the proceedings or locale of an election campaign

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Did You Know?

Hustings are where babies are kissed, flesh is pressed, and media events are staged. The term traces to an Old Norse word meaning "house assembly," and 1000 years ago hustings were judicial assemblies where Anglo-Saxon kings and their followers held council and resolved civil disputes. Over time, "hustings" came to refer not only to the assembly but also to the platform where the leaders of such gatherings sat, and in due course the term was applied to the entire campaigning process as well. Nowadays, "on the hustings" is synonymous with "on the stump," and it can refer to any place along the campaign trail where a candidate makes a pitch for public office.

Examples of hustings in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Without Donald Trump on the hustings, the coming weeks of campaigning in America will have less ... Arkansas Online, "OPINION | EDITORIAL: No respecter of persons," 3 Oct. 2020 While Trump flies Air Force One around the country for raucous airplane hangar rallies and mega-fundraisers, Pence hits the hustings in two-lane road communities. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Pence deployed to key areas by Trump campaign to gin up local support," 10 Sep. 2020 When he was incapacitated by a fall, and his wife, Annie, was sidelined by a near-paralyzing stutter, Ms. Carpenter took to the hustings and delivered John Glenn’s speeches., "Rene Carpenter, astronaut’s wife who broke NASA mold, 92," 30 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hustings.' 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 hustings

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for hustings

Middle English, from Old English hūsting, from Old Norse hūsthing, from hūs house + thing assembly

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The first known use of hustings was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

24 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hustings.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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