shy·​ster | \ ˈshī-stər How to pronounce shyster (audio) \

Definition of shyster

: a person who is professionally unscrupulous especially in the practice of law or politics : pettifogger

Examples of shyster in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the 1930s, it was purchased by Norman Baker, a shyster who lured cancer patients to come here for treatments that had no medicinal value. Valerie Fraser Luesse, Southern Living, 25 Sep. 2020 Small business owners trying to stay afloat as the economy reels from the impact of the coronavirus can add another worry to the list: shysters pretending to be affiliated with the federal government's flagship relief program. Kate Gibson, CBS News, 20 Apr. 2020 Lukens, almost alone, kept the faith, arguing that the bust had simply exposed honest dealers from shysters. The Economist, 18 Dec. 2019 Fyre Festival shyster Billy McFarland was just caught allegedly selling fake tickets to the Met Ball., 15 June 2018 Some cryptocurrency pioneers think alt-coins are thus more like penny stocks—ones that get talked up by shysters to lure in naive investors, who get fleeced. Kotryna Zukauskaite, Smithsonian, 20 Mar. 2018 So Tillerson stepped down as the CEO of one of the largest corporations in the world to cap his career spending one year being jerked around by a louche New York City shyster. Rob Tornoe,, 13 Mar. 2018 The Wiz himself is played as a compelling shyster of self-affirmation with a cheery smile by Rahim Glaspy. Theodore P. Mahne,, 14 June 2017 Throughout the Anthony trial, local and national media presented Baez as a strip-mall shyster in a bad brown suit who lacked the experience and pedigree to take on such a prominent case. Alex French, Esquire, 15 Aug. 2017

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

1844, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shyster

probably from German Scheisser, literally, defecator

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About shyster

Time Traveler for shyster

Time Traveler

The first known use of shyster was in 1844

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near shyster




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for shyster

Cite this Entry

“Shyster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for shyster



English Language Learners Definition of shyster

chiefly US, informal : a dishonest person especially : a dishonest lawyer or politician

More from Merriam-Webster on shyster

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shyster


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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