Definition of hustle in English:


Syllabification: hus·tle
Pronunciation: /ˈhəsəl


  • 1 [with object] Force (someone) to move hurriedly or unceremoniously in a specified direction: they hustled him into the back of a horse-drawn wagon
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    • Soon after they had stopped, the door roared aside and the ubiquitous soldiers were hustling the weary people off the train.
    • These people were hustling me along towards their car, and I had to do something about it.
    • When the doorbell rang, I bounced up, but Aunt Rachel hustled me back into the sitting room as she answered the door.
  • 1.1Push roughly; jostle: they were hissed and hustled as they went in
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    • The mayhem will then being in earnest as the gang intimidate the natives and wander through the bar hustling the bar tenders and drinking pre prepared shots - neat of course!
    manhandle, push, shove, thrust, frogmarch, whisk, bundle
  • 1.2 [no object] Hurry; bustle: he had to retag second base and hustle back to first
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    • The students are hustling and bustling about, Ms. Hunter frantically handing back the test papers.
    • A short, white-haired little woman soon appeared at the door, hustling and bustling about.
    • Every crew was hustling and bustling to get their cars prepped and ready for the long day.
  • 2 [with object] informal , chiefly North American Obtain by forceful action or persuasion: the brothers headed to New York to try and hustle a record deal
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    • There may be a mother wondering where her child is while this fellow pushes him around the streets and subways hustling drug money.
    • During my 40 years of pool playing, I have never been hustled out of a significant amount of money.
    • The widespread poverty of the area made blacks all the more susceptible to the ploys of those trying to hustle them out of their money for supposed burials.
  • 2.1 (hustle someone into) Coerce or pressure someone into doing or choosing something: don’t be hustled into anything
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    • Then hustle them into saying something that will make the next morning's headlines.
    coerce, force, compel, pressure, pressurize, badger, pester, hound, harass, nag, harry, urge, goad, prod, spur; browbeat, bulldoze, bludgeon, steamroller, strong-arm
    informal railroad, fast-talk
  • 2.2Sell aggressively: he hustled his company’s oil around the country
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    • He had written a great novel which I encouraged him to keep hustling.
    • You will need to really hustle, network, and make all the contacts you can.
    • He ‘pounded the streets, hustling to stores and galleries’ in an attempt to sell his art.
  • 2.3Obtain by illicit action; swindle; cheat: Linda hustled money from men she met
  • 3 [no object] North American informal Engage in prostitution.
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    • In 1998, he tried to be more careful about protecting himself, but he spent the summer hustling for money to pay for his apartment and for school.
    • Then he says he hustles on the street only for enough money to buy food before going home to late at night.
    • Joey is hustling on Melrose with the transvestites and rent-boys when a limo pulls to the curb.


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  • 1Busy movement and activity: the hustle and bustle of the big cities
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    • It's a 12-hour flight there from the UK and you may be a little overwhelmed by the noisy, colourful hustle and bustle that you'll encounter on the way from the airport to your hotel.
    • Both city centre streets and out-of-town shopping centres were full of shoppers over the weekend, but without the manic hustle and bustle often experienced so close to Christmas.
    • But there's a definite feeling of hustle and bustle.
  • 2North American informal A fraud or swindle.
    More example sentences
    • I had to work my way up from scams to hustles to grifts to short-cons to swindles to long-cons to heists to inside jobs to stings to capers to scores.
    • Many of the hustles and scams in the film are taken directly from his own poolhall adventures.
    • Most of the hustles are meant, naturally, to appear not to be hustles at all, but genuine appeals for emergency financial assistance.


hustle one's butt (or • vulgar slang ass)

North American informal Move or act quickly.


late 17th century (originally in the sense 'shake, toss'): from Middle Dutch hutselen. sense 3 of the verb dates from the early 20th century.

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