Definition of huckster in English:



  • 1A person who sells small items door-to-door or from a stall.

    ‘a door-to-door huckster’
    • ‘Tommy uses every trick in the book to catch his man: dressing as a rodeo clown, shilling prizes as a slick Vegas huckster, or pretending to be a backwoods hick, Tommy has all the right moves.’
    • ‘It reads more like a huckster selling long-life elixir at a rural county fair.’
    • ‘I cringed at the hucksters on the street, who had a negative impact on the brand.’
    • ‘Nearby, hucksters sell postcards of the skyline, in which the towers remain shiningly intact.’
    • ‘These homespun medications were sold by itinerant hucksters, pharmacies, and whoever could spellbind a listener with lofty promises of cure.’
    • ‘Here professionals and housewives discard their workaday images and become hucksters offering the output of their hobbies.’
    • ‘Wouldn't this make him a set-up for an oily huckster who sold lame horses with a false hump?’
    • ‘Another pulled toffee - at least in its classic form - is Irish yellowman, a sweet still often sold at fairs by hucksters proclaiming its supposedly health-giving properties.’
    • ‘The trick is to find them among the dross of ill-informed advice from psychobabbling hucksters who don't seem to live in the real world.’
    • ‘When you put it that way, the street-level huckster almost sounds more honorable than the executive.’
    • ‘This bland 30-second spot stood out in the cluttered huckster's marketplace of morning television because of all the elements that were missing.’
    • ‘To add to the incessant cacophony of all the usual hucksters and souvenir traders, the pilgrims and the clergy, the temple is also still being built.’
    • ‘You take away the impression that you've been spun a shaggy parrot story told by a sideshow huckster, albeit with attention-grabbing skill.’
    • ‘At the base there was the mass of peddlers, hawkers, hucksters, at best shopkeepers.’
    • ‘Folks, this is a very old stunt, used by carnival hucksters for generations to convince gullible victims that ‘energies’ are being demonstrated.’
    • ‘Consumers seeking relief from phone hucksters shouldn't be sold a bill of goods by their government.’
    • ‘He mused (more than asked): ‘Do you know you can measure the state of the economies of most developing countries by the number of hucksters you encounter at traffic lights?’’
    • ‘In 1880, the Federal census reported 2,690 commercial travelers, hucksters, and peddlers based in Chicago - 98 percent of whom were men.’
    • ‘New ordinances banned boys from throwing rocks, female hucksters from selling food door-to-door, and people of color from assembling after curfew.’
    trader, dealer, seller, purveyor, vendor, barrow boy, salesman, door-to-door salesman, pedlar, hawker
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    1. 1.1 A person who sells in an aggressive or ruthless way.
      • ‘As any huckster can tell you, when the quality goes down, the hype goes up.’
      • ‘It seems a mortgage company that briefly held my loan two years ago is still peddling my personal financial information to every huckster with a LaserJet printer.’
      • ‘They're stock hucksters, touts, gamblers and flim-flammers.’
      • ‘This makes them easy pickings for religious hucksters, who continually say the most ridiculous things and get away with it only because their audience isn't bright enough to think it through for themselves.’
      • ‘We're accustomed to facing a gauntlet of hucksters when we sit in front of a TV set.’
      • ‘It is a rare thing for a reviewer to find himself in the role of evangelist or huckster, but that is where I must begin.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the volume of spam continues to rise, as hucksters pitch porn sites, pyramid schemes, quack health remedies, online casinos, mortgage refinancing, and so on.’
      • ‘Self-reflection and humility are not marketable commodities among hucksters.’
      • ‘All of this convinced Bryson that he didn't have to transform his modest self into a careerist huckster in order to make more of his living from music.’
      • ‘However, there are many charlatans, hucksters, and snake-oil sellers among the New Age field, in part because it is so easy to fool people when you can't produce hard physical evidence of the truth of your assertions.’
      • ‘Internet hucksters use wild colors, eye-popping images, and jazzy sounds to draw your attention to their ads, trying to get you to reveal your credit card number and buy stuff.’
  • 2North American A publicity agent or advertising copywriter.

    • ‘The huckster advertises an attractive item-an appliance, aluminum siding, a new kitchen-at an astonishingly low price. That's the bait, and consumers predictably rise to it.’
    • ‘Every genius, promoter and huckster wanted a piece of the action.’
    • ‘Besides, consumers have always been in an equilibrium with advertisers and hucksters - some gullible people will fall for anything, while others are impervious to all manipulation.’
    • ‘You go to war with the best public relations huckster you can have: the White House announced last week that a Washington public relations executive, with no experience in military affairs, was the nominee for the post.’
    • ‘Their role is more significant (in a couple of senses) than hucksters whose interest in the lives of other people is limited to an opportunity to ply their craft.’
    • ‘Of course, it won't surprise me if some huckster manages to get the two women to square off again.’


[NO OBJECT]North American
  • 1Bargain; haggle.

    ‘they were clearly embarrassed at having to huckster for cash’
    • ‘Littlebody grumbles of indignity - ‘the huckstering / - jumping around in your green top hat ‘- but the laws laid down so long ago hold true and he offers up his purse of gold.’’
    • ‘From the start, negotiations over water have been rife with miscalculations, poor planning and plain old huckstering.’
    • ‘Of course, in the universal association of Jews with commerce and huckstering there was a huge element of stereotyping.’
    • ‘Sorry that I have to resort to such shameless huckstering.’
    • ‘Thousands of TV commercials go on their merry way, oblivious to dire circumstances outside the calculus of huckstering.’
    • ‘Rather than caricaturing him, Gladwell uses Popeil and his family legacy of boardwalk huckstering to teach Madison Avenue lessons it would never have learned in business school.’
    • ‘The staff is smart, attentive, and blessedly innocent of the huckstering and bum's rushing that often characterize staples of the tourist circuit.’
    1. 1.1with object Promote or sell (something, typically a product of questionable value)
      ‘he was huckstering a video’
      • ‘His huckstering abilities soon ingratiated him to Joe Frazier, the world heavyweight champion, whom he accompanied to Kingston, Jamaica, in 1973, when Frazier defended his crown against Foreman.’
      • ‘Nearly a century ago, for instance, radio was a new grassroots phenomenon that responded to community needs without huckstering the listeners.’
      • ‘Too often, the most famous members of the profession become preoccupied by their own personalities, generating flashy images and huckstering iconic trademarks.’
      • ‘These kinds of electronic spaces seem to be far removed from the image of the bustling, huckstering Bartholomew Fair, but it seems that many scholars in the Humanities confuse them.’
      • ‘You have thousands of members cancelling their memberships, and that anger is only going to grow as people realize they got huckstered by this bill.’
      • ‘There should be high profile Indonesian culture and trade expos at major cities in the west, shamelessly huckstering for this country.’
      • ‘So, although he will presumably be ‘shocked’ to learn it, his military-technological huckstering appalled the old general.’
      • ‘If you hear any other coach claim his player deserves consideration, you know that coach is shamefully huckstering or making sure his guy gets on an All-American team.’
      advertise, publicize, give publicity to, bang the drum for, beat the drum for, popularize, sell, market, merchandise
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Middle English (in the sense ‘retailer at a stall, hawker’): probably of Low German origin.