hus·​tler ˈhə-slər How to pronounce hustler (audio)
plural hustlers
: a person who hustles: such as
: one who obtains money by fraud or deceit : scammer, swindler
A financial hustler who orchestrated the theft of $6.5 million from investors …Shayna Jacobs and Alec Tabak
… most of the eight major frauds Minkow helped uncover in the past year have involved hustlers trying to sell investments to church groups.Adam Zagorin
: one who lures less skillful players into competing at a gambling game
a pool hustler
This is where the chess hustlers have seized their opportunity. Camped out at the picnic tables in Harvard Square, these seasoned locals will play with you—for a price.Evan Zigmond
: an athlete who plays with alert energy and aggressiveness
By always being the teacher's pet, by being a hustler in football practice and by being the fringe member of many social groups but the leader of none, Kelly managed to mask his insecurities.Michael Reese
: prostitute
a male hustler
"Beat" is old carny slang. According to Beat Movement legend … , Ginsberg and Kerouac picked it up from a character named Herbert Huncke, a gay street hustler and drug addict from Chicago who began hanging around Times Square in 1939 …Louis Menand

Examples of hustler in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 1984, Susan Faludi, then a twentysomething reporter a few years out from becoming a Pulitzer Prize–winning author, wrote a front-page story about gay hustlers for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Longreads, 4 Apr. 2024 Blazer described how the system really worked, with the coaches, sneaker companies, agents, financial advisors, boosters and unsavory hustlers and runners engaged in vast conspiracies to evade the rules of amateurism. Guy Lawson, Rolling Stone, 24 Mar. 2024 So— Lauren Goode: This is great, this whole career for you as a hustler, influencer on TikTok. Lauren Goode Michael Calore, WIRED, 14 Mar. 2024 Focus on existing platforms for side hustlers that already have potential customers. Caroline Ceniza-Levine, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 Hollywood’s worst fears seemed confirmed when G&W board chairman Charles Bluhdorn appointed as head of production a pretty boy former actor named Robert Evans, a type A hustler whose managerial approach was definitely not hands off. Thomas Doherty, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 Feb. 2024 Many side hustlers can open a bank account for their business in a matter of minutes online. Rosalie Murphy Of Nerdwallet, Quartz, 8 Feb. 2024 Hoffman, the son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, made his film debut as the young hustler Gary Valentine in Paul Thomas Anderson's Licorice Pizza in 2022. Wesley Stenzel,, 30 Jan. 2024 Postwar Phnom Penh was a ramshackle city of squatters, hustlers, and beggars. Chantha Nguon, Condé Nast Traveler, 20 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hustler.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1825, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hustler was in 1825

Dictionary Entries Near hustler

Cite this Entry

“Hustler.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on hustler

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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