shy·​ster ˈshī-stər How to pronounce shyster (audio)
: 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 And there’s a character on there who is—plays kind of a shyster attorney. Nick Sibilla, Forbes, 11 Nov. 2022 How Bob Odenkirk became the great American shyster in the riveting show, Better Call Saul. Kyle Smith, National Review, 1 May 2022 Marty the nebbish, Ike the shyster, Phyllis the shrew. Judy Berman, Time, 8 Nov. 2021 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 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

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

Word History


probably from German Scheisser, literally, defecator

First Known Use

1844, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shyster was in 1844

Dictionary Entries Near shyster

Cite this Entry

“Shyster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


shy·​ster ˈshī-stər How to pronounce shyster (audio)
: a crooked lawyer or politician

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