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, "The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa is Known to Have Ghostly Guests," 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, "Another thing for small businesses to worry about: A phony Paycheck Protection lender," 20 Apr. 2020 Lukens, almost alone, kept the faith, arguing that the bust had simply exposed honest dealers from shysters. The Economist, "Eucalyptus Road The long and tangled history of California’s eucalyptus trees," 18 Dec. 2019 Fyre Festival shyster Billy McFarland was just caught allegedly selling fake tickets to the Met Ball., "This Queer Eye Episode Fits Right In With The Summer Of Scamming," 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, "What the Founding Fathers’ Money Problems Can Teach Us About Bitcoin," 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,, "Rex Tillerson replaced by Mike Pompeo: Reaction to Trump's move," 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,, "Exuberant performances, top-notch voices enliven 'The Wiz'," 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, "The Man Who Knows Aaron Hernandez's Secrets," 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.

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First Known Use of shyster

1844, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shyster

probably from German Scheisser, literally, defecator

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Time Traveler

The first known use of shyster was in 1844

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Cite this Entry

“Shyster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce shyster (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shyster

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

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