hustings

play
noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction hus·tings \ ˈhə-stiŋz \

Definition of hustings

1 a :a local court formerly held in various English municipalities and still held infrequently in London
b :a local court in some cities in Virginia
2 a :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

hustings was our Word of the Day on 01/20/2008. Hear the podcast!

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.

Origin and Etymology of hustings

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



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a strongly worded attack

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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