a disorderly dispute.
a problem brought about by pressures of time, money, inconvenience, etc.: Finding a decent place to have lunch in this neighborhood is always a hassle.

verb (used without object), has·sled, has·sling.

to dispute or quarrel: children hassling over who has the most toys.
to take time or effort: We don't want to hassle with all that waiting in line.

verb (used with object), has·sled, has·sling.

to bother, annoy, or harass: I'll do the work, so don't hassle me.

Origin of hassle

First recorded in 1935–40; origin uncertain
Related formsun·has·sled, adjective

Synonyms for hassle

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hassle

Contemporary Examples of hassle

Historical Examples of hassle

  • That done, they walked to Hassle station, and took the first train to Hull.

    The Pit Prop Syndicate

    Freeman Wills Crofts

  • A hassle started, and the editor called the Honolulu police.

    The Unnecessary Man

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • "That's enough," Muller cut through the beginnings of the hassle.

    Let'em Breathe Space

    Lester del Rey

  • He'd obviously got himself into a hassle maintaining his place in line against two or three heftier would-be soldiers.


    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • Who told you that there was a hassle between this guy and Slack?

    Warren Commission (10 of 26): Hearings Vol. X (of 15)

    The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

British Dictionary definitions for hassle



a prolonged argument; wrangle
a great deal of trouble; difficulty; nuisance


(intr) to quarrel or wrangle
(tr) to cause annoyance or trouble to (someone); harass

Word Origin for hassle

C20: of unknown origin
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

Word Origin and History for hassle

1945, American English, perhaps from U.S. Southern dialectal hassle "to pant, breathe noisily" (1928), of unknown origin; or perhaps from hatchel "to harass" (1800), which may be a variant of hazel, the name of the plant that furnished switches for whippings. Noted in 1946 as a show biz vogue word.


1951, from hassle (n.). Related: Hassled; hassling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper