hustle

verb
hus·​tle | \ ˈhə-səl How to pronounce hustle (audio) \
hustled; hustling\ ˈhə-​s(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce hustling (audio) \

Definition of hustle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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.

hustle

noun

Definition of hustle (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : energetic activity I … went about the hustle of summer life.— Stephen W. Kress You stepped out of Penn Station into the dizzying hustle of Eighth Avenue …— Colson Whitehead I enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city.
b chiefly US : effort and energy in playing a sport a baseball player who has been criticized for lack of hustle The fans admire them for their hustle. a player known more for his hustle than his talent
2 informal : a dishonest plan for getting money : scam Now, the secret of any hustle is that you have to have information that the other guy doesn't have.— Paul Newman … a once-inspired con man on his last hustle— Marilyn Stasio

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from hustle

Verb

hustler \ ˈhə-​slər How to pronounce hustler (audio) \ noun

Examples of hustle in a Sentence

Verb

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The email is a significant development in the city’s history with squeegee workers, some of whom have clashed with motorists while hustling to clean windshields for money. Luke Broadwater, baltimoresun.com, "With Baltimore’s business leaders growing impatient, mayor reveals ‘Squeegee Alternative Plan’," 17 Sep. 2019 His persistence paid off in the second quarter by hustling to tackle a scrambling Dalton for a 1-yard sack. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, "49ers 41, Bengals 17: Studs and duds — Garoppolo, offense rule but Staley injured," 15 Sep. 2019 In Blume’s case, just as with all homegrown venture funds such as India Quotient, Pi Ventures, and Stellaris, the partners who invest are the ones hustling to raise cash as well. Sajith Pai, Quartz India, "A newly-minted Indian VC takes an honest, hard-nosed look at his industry," 6 Sep. 2019 Based on its database of job ads, the site recently came up with a list of the 15 side hustles most wanted by employers. Anne Fisher, Fortune, "The 15 Most Popular Side Hustles Now," 4 Sep. 2019 Unbeknownst to Arenado at that moment was that a fan, wearing an Oakland Raiders T-shirt, had hustled over from his seat to make a leaping catch in an area where the seats are covered by a black tarp. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies’ Nolan Arenado wowed by fan’s catch of his home run," 4 Sep. 2019 Padres equipment manager Spencer Dallin takes rare time off; Joey Lucchesi hustling up strikes SAN FRANCISCO — There is an important member of the Padres not present for this series. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Padres notes: Important piece missing from team; Martini gets start as part of lefty lineup," 31 Aug. 2019 Hemi V8, Dodge said the three-row ute will hustle through the quarter-mile in a National Hot Rod Association-certified 12.9 seconds. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "Dodge plays to muscle car niche with power, technology," 16 Aug. 2019 Once well-known in only the Buffalo and Rochester areas, Cellino and Barnes spent two decades hustling with those billboards and that jingle, moving into New York City and much of California. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "The story behind the best-known local jingle in America," 8 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of hustle

Verb

1720, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1897, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for hustle

Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hustle

Statistics for hustle

Last Updated

16 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hustle

The first known use of hustle was in 1720

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hustle

hustle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of hustle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

hustle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of hustle (Entry 2 of 2)

: energetic activity
chiefly US : effort and energy in playing a sport
informal : a dishonest plan for getting money

hustle

verb
hus·​tle | \ ˈhə-səl How to pronounce hustle (audio) \
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.

hustle

noun

Kids Definition of hustle (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!