[ shahy-ster ]
/ ˈʃaɪ stər /

noun Informal.

a lawyer who uses unprofessional or questionable methods.
a person who gets along by petty, sharp practices.

Nearby words

  1. shy-drager syndrome,
  2. shylock,
  3. shyly,
  4. shymkent,
  5. shypoo,
  6. shīn,
  7. si,
  8. si derived unit,
  9. si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice,
  10. si unit

Origin of shyster

1835–45, Americanism; probably < German Scheisser, equivalent to scheiss(en) to shit + -er -er1; final -ser conformed to -ster

Related formsshy·ster·ism, noun

Can be confusedambulance chaser mouthpiece pettifogger shyster Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for shyster

British Dictionary definitions for shyster


/ (ˈʃaɪstə) /


informal, mainly US a person, esp a lawyer or politician, who uses discreditable or unethical methods

Word Origin for shyster

C19: probably based on Scheuster, name of a disreputable 19th-century New York lawyer

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 shyster



"unscrupulous lawyer," 1843, U.S. slang, probably altered from German Scheisser "incompetent worthless person," from Scheisse "shit" (n.), from Old High German skizzan "to defecate" (see shit (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper