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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Her entrepreneurial origin is littered with stories about hustling on weekends and doing weddings at cost, all just to break into a new client base or to win over a reputable venue. Josh Snider, Popular Mechanics, "The Ferocious Cooking of Fig and Pig," 7 Dec. 2018 Max says his dad stays on top of him to keep working on his game, from ball handling to hustling to shooting to consistency. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Arcadia guard Max Majerle picks up first Division I hoops offer from his dad," 15 June 2018 Grant Benzinger, a senior guard, hustled over to a young man about his age sitting in a wheelchair on the side on the court. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "2018 NCAA tournament: Ryan Custer, injured last year, helps inspire Wright State," 14 Mar. 2018 There’s also a deep irony in how Cousins went down: hustling from the free throw line to grab his own rebound in a close game against the West-leading Rockets. Nathaniel Friedman, GQ, "Boogie Makes the NBA Better," 30 Jan. 2018 Matt Joyce grounded into a forceout to bring home another run, hustling down the line to beat a double play. Paul Newberry, The Seattle Times, "Roark roughed up in final spring tuneup for Reds," 25 Mar. 2019 Aside from the awards show cameo, Meghan has been hustling behind the scenes. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Wears a Fitted Floral Dress on a Solo Visit to a Nursing Home," 18 Dec. 2018 Even so, the action the Friedrichs case sparked in Sacramento, where Democratic lawmakers hustled to help unions, continued even after the case disappeared. John Myers, latimes.com, "California's politically powerful labor unions have been preparing for this Supreme Court ruling for a long time," 27 June 2018 Bryan and Nikki pooled their remaining cash, borrowed money from a brother-in-law, and hustled to find a new spot. Hilary Cadigan, Bon Appetit, "The Unmistakable Bryan Furman, Georgia’s New King of Barbecue," 25 June 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

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

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Statistics for hustle

Last Updated

15 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hustle

The first known use of hustle was in 1720

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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.

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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

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