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[huhs-ler] /ˈhʌs lər/
an enterprising person determined to succeed; go-getter.
Slang. a person who employs fraudulent or unscrupulous methods to obtain money; swindler.
Informal. an expert gambler or game player who seeks out challengers, especially unsuspecting amateur ones, in order to win money from them:
He earned his living as a pool hustler.
Slang. a prostitute.
a person who hustles.
Origin of hustler
First recorded in 1815-25; hustle + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hustler
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Jack Howland was a Chicago man, which means that he was a hustler, and not overburdened with sentiment.

    The Danger Trail James Oliver Curwood
  • "I'm a hustler on a dicker, and a hellion on junk," snapped the boss.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • A well-made lawn is a testimonial to a hustler, whether the area is small or large.

    Making a Lawn Luke Joseph Doogue
  • Landon is almost as good a hustler as Tony, and a much better forester.

    The Forester's Daughter Hamlin Garland
  • Little Jim was a hustler, never waiting to be told what to do.

    Partners of Chance Henry Herbert Knibbs
Word Origin and History for hustler

1825, "thief" (especially one who roughs up his victims), from hustle (v.) + -er (1). Sense of "energetic worker" (especially, but not originally, a salesman) is from 1884; sense of "prostitute" dates from 1924.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hustler



  1. A thief or a dealer in stolen goods: and sells to hustlers like Tommy at about one-third its retail value (1825+)
  2. A confidence trickster or swindler, esp one who pretends ignorance of a game where he or she is in fact an expert and sure to win; con man, shark (1914+)
  3. A prostitute; hooker: I ain't nothing but a hustler (1924+)
  4. An energetic, aggressive performer or worker: An active and successful businessman achieves the honorable distinction of a ''hustler'' or a ''rustler'' (1882+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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