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[ruhs-ler] /ˈrʌs lər/
a cattle thief.
a person or thing that rustles.
Informal. an active, energetic person.
Origin of rustler
First recorded in 1810-20; rustle + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rustler
Historical Examples
  • Outlaw and rustler opposed the dominion of this peace officer.

    When the West Was Young Frederick R. Bechdolt
  • He waved a hand toward the rustler and shouted down the wind: "Some other day."

    Oh, You Tex! William Macleod Raine
  • He picked a way down into the cañon and followed the rustler.

    Oh, You Tex! William Macleod Raine
  • I'm here to tell you that I've got evidence to prove that Ford was a rustler an' a hold-up.

    Oh, You Tex! William Macleod Raine
  • And you never satisfied your curiosity about who the rustler was?

    Oh, You Tex! William Macleod Raine
  • Tell me where it was you saw this rustler—the exact place near as you can locate it.

    Brand Blotters William MacLeod Raine
  • A tale of the western frontier, where the “rustler” abounds.

    Brand Blotters William MacLeod Raine
  • He got on the wrong side of the rustler line-up—you know all about that, I reckon?

    Cavanagh: Forest Ranger Hamlin Garland
  • As Johnny fell, the rustler ducked low and sprang for the door.

  • When they couldn't make me out a rustler, they made me out a gambler.

    Laramie Holds the Range

    Frank H. Spearman
British Dictionary definitions for rustler


(mainly US & Canadian) a cattle or horse thief
(US & Canadian, informal) an energetic or vigorous person
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rustler

1820, "one who rustles," agent noun from rustle (v.). American English meaning "cattle thief" is from 1882.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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