hus·​tle | \ˈhə-səl \
hustled; hustling\ˈhə-​s(ə-​)liŋ \

Definition of hustle 

transitive verb

1a : to crowd or push roughly : jostle, shove had been hustled into a jail cell with the other protesters

b : to convey forcibly or hurriedly grabbed him by the arm and hustled him out the door— John Dos Passos

c : to urge forward precipitately hustling tourists from one museum to the next

2a : to obtain by energetic activity usually used with up hustle up new customerstry to hustle up some tickets to tonight's gamehustling up some grub

b : to sell something to or obtain something from (someone) by energetic and especially underhanded activity : swindle hustling the suckers an elaborate scam to hustle the elderly

c : to sell or promote energetically and aggressively hustling a new product

d : to lure less skillful players into competing against oneself at (a gambling game) hustle pool

intransitive verb

1 : shove, press

2 : hasten, hurry you'd better hustle if you want to catch the bus

3a : to make strenuous efforts to obtain especially money or business our quartet was out hustling … and we knew we stood good to take in a lot of change before the night was over— Louis Armstrong

b : to obtain money by fraud or deception

c : to engage in prostitution

4 : to play a game or sport in an alert aggressive manner She's not the most talented player on the team, but she always hustles.

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Other Words from hustle

hustle noun
hustler \ˈhə-​slər \ noun

Examples of hustle in a Sentence

The guards hustled the prisoners into the jail. The star's manager hustled him out the back door of the theater to avoid the throngs of fans. He's not the most talented player on the team, but he always hustles. He's been hustling drugs for a few years. They hustle diamonds, furs—whatever people are buying.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Imagine a future that replaces humans hustling to unload cars in front of restaurants with a single digital communications protocol between cars, cities, and parking spaces, which would allow cars to easily find spaces and the most efficient routes. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Why valet parking is the future of smarter urban transit," 6 Aug. 2018 Yes, in his early 20s, Tarek hustled hard enough to move not just out of his mother's garage and into an apartment, but to wherever his heart desired (within the casual $1 mil range, that is). Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know On How Flip Or Flop Came To Be, According To Tarek El Moussa," 24 Aug. 2018 McCain hustled home from Washington and publicized his intention to run a day later. azcentral, "The ever-ambitious John McCain rises to the U.S. Senate," 2 Apr. 2018 Contreras seemed to have a shot to throw him out stealing second but the ball skipped past Baez into center field, allowing Hamilton to hustle to third. Phil Rogers,, "David Bote's bases-loaded walk in 10th gives Cubs 6-5 win over Reds," 8 July 2018 Still, with his latest video submission, no one can say he's lost his ability to hustle. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Terrell Owens, even at 44, shows he can still run an elite 40-yard dash," 18 June 2018 If guys ain't hustling, playing hard, making the right decision, game plan shmame plan. David Barron, Houston Chronicle, "Highlights from TNT's coverage of Game 4 of Rockets-Warriors," 22 May 2018 Promises Fulfilled, a speedy sort of horse who had no choice but to hustle to the lead out of the No. Tim Layden,, "Justify Elicits Comparisons to American Pharoah in First Step of Following Same Historic Path," 5 May 2018 The station agent furtively hops aboard his bicycle to hustle into town to inform the notary (Peter Rudolf, whose character essentially functions as the mayor), and soon the place is in a quiet panic. Gary Thompson,, "'High Noon' meets the Holocaust? Somehow it works in '1945'," 4 Apr. 2018

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

1720, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for hustle

Dutch husselen to shake, from Middle Dutch hutselen, frequentative of hutsen

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Statistics for hustle

Last Updated

27 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hustle

The first known use of hustle was in 1720

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More Definitions for hustle



English Language Learners Definition of hustle

: to quickly move or push (someone) often in a rough way

: to move or work in a quick and energetic way

: to play a sport with a lot of energy and effort


hus·​tle | \ˈhə-səl \
hustled; hustling

Kids Definition of hustle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to push, crowd, or force forward roughly Officers hustled the prisoner to jail.

2 : to move or work rapidly and tirelessly They're hustling to get the job done. He hustled back to class.



Kids Definition of hustle (Entry 2 of 2)

: energetic activity The hustle and bustle of the school day began.

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More from Merriam-Webster on hustle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hustle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hustle

Spanish Central: Translation of hustle

Nglish: Translation of hustle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hustle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hustle

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


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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