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

Former comptroller and mayoral candidate John Liu is officially announcing his run for state Senate against Tony Avella on Friday, spurred on by activist groups who hustled to get him on the ballot just days before the deadline. Katie Honan, WSJ, "Former New York City Comptroller to Take On State Senator for Queens Seat," 13 July 2018 Sure, for those hustling to work or school the alley may seem like just a gritty passageway between street and parking lot. Natasha Mascarenhas,, "In this hidden alley, a museum of modern art," 25 Apr. 2018 Peppermint has been hustling hard since coming in second place on season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race last year. Patrick Crowley, Billboard, "Peppermint & Cazwell Announce Joint EP, Debut Music Video For Trans Anthem 'Blend'," 2 Mar. 2018 And Fusion seems to be of a piece, hustling for its cut from an office in Dupont Circle. Matt Flegenheimer, New York Times, "Fusion GPS Founder Hauled From the Shadows for the Russia Election Investigation," 8 Jan. 2018 That data, however, did not take into account the many types of side hustles that workers pick up in addition to their full-time jobs. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "Jobs Report: Workers Are Quitting Their Jobs at Dotcom Bubble Rates," 10 July 2018 Still, there's a certain ineffable quality to the way McCaw defends and hustles that lifts a team, a frenetic energy that can help turn the tide or sustain a run. Rob Mahoney,, "The Best Players Left in NBA Free Agency," 9 July 2018 Crossovers are so dominant that many automakers name a crossover as their top seller—and everyone is hustling new vehicles like the Kona to market. John Scott Lewinski, Ars Technica, "The Hyundai Kona: A well-equipped crossover starting at just $19,500," 30 Apr. 2018 Back on defense, Marjanovic got a rebound and hustled down the court. Broderick Turner,, "Clippers duo continues to impress off the bench," 27 Mar. 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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Phrases Related to hustle

hustle up

Statistics for hustle

Last Updated

16 Oct 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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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).


a state of commotion or excitement

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