Definition of hustings in English:



  • 1A meeting at which candidates in an election address potential voters.

    ‘he could hold his own in an election hustings’
    ‘Mrs Jones organized two public hustings’
    • ‘The election hustings provided a welcome opportunity for important issues to be aired, even if climate change was not high on everyone's list of concerns.’
    • ‘More than in any other election to date, these new hustings came into their own as spaces for unspun political debate.’
    • ‘We want a full hustings, with all the candidates.’
    • ‘A student leader today said the hustings could prove critical in deciding who is voted in as the town's MP on May 5.’
    • ‘The battle for the Tory leadership may be hotting up but it appears as if there is still all to play for following the elections hustings in Yorkshire last night.’
    • ‘Nine hustings, where the candidates will appear head to head, will be held around England along with one each in Scotland and Wales before polls close on December 5.’
    • ‘About 100 students, the majority first-time voters, engaged in a hustings at City and Islington College in north London on Wednesday of last week.’
    • ‘Democracy in York will be taken back to its grass roots later this month when the city's candidates face the public in an election hustings.’
    • ‘The conference voted to put a list of questions over the war to every candidate in the election, to publicise the results and to hold hustings over the war.’
    • ‘On the Tuesday before the election we held a hustings which all of the prospective candidates attended - with the exception of the Conservatives.’
    • ‘If you work, you can organise a hustings at your workplace to introduce your local candidate.’
    • ‘I was reminded of this when watching the US presidential debate, a televised hustings.’
    • ‘Though barely known to the electorate so far, these are the two men who will face each other at the Scottish hustings at next year's Westminster election.’
    1. 1.1 The campaigning associated with an election.
      ‘I was out on the hustings, talking to people’
      • ‘That is the sort of integrity that will be challenged on the hustings, believe you me.’
      • ‘It promised to be ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’, though on the hustings, and during its first months in office, it was the first part of this populist equation that was emphasized.’
      • ‘But with less than two years remaining to the next election, I doubt an eight committee supergroup could get an agreement to do much before politicians are back on the hustings again.’
      • ‘He also supported the concept of the American free trade area in the Senate but now, on the hustings, is campaigning for protectionism to safeguard American jobs.’
      • ‘If Labour wins the election, the chancellor will be back on the hustings urging us to sign up to the European Union constitution.’
      • ‘When members go around this country on the hustings this year, people will acknowledge that this Government has delivered for rural New Zealand.’
      • ‘With the federal election looming, the political leaders have been out on the hustings and the ads are coming thick and fast.’
      • ‘They can sit there and smile, point, and carry on, but they know they do not have anything to go out and sell on the hustings, and that their people are just as disappointed.’
      • ‘As we move towards the end of this Parliament, with questions finishing today and people doing valedictory speeches, people are looking forward to getting out on the hustings.’
      • ‘An election is here again and the political parties are on the hustings.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, back on the hustings the law-and-order brigade has apparently got all the answers to our street crime problems.’
      • ‘Should they be re-elected it will also help lock them into a good position, should they come out against privatization on the hustings this year or next.’
      • ‘The point though is that the president is out on the hustings spouting what in common English we call a ‘lie’.’
      • ‘This is the party that is going out on the hustings now and saying that when it comes to superannuation and social things, it can keep its word.’
      • ‘On the hustings, each party's platform touches on a few economic issues.’
      • ‘Two things have characterized the ongoing political campaigns for this year's general election since politicians went on the hustings last year.’
      • ‘I think we can expect to see them on the hustings soon.’
      • ‘The next hardest is going on the hustings to promote it.’
      • ‘Well, I am looking forward to being on the hustings and arguing about that.’
      • ‘There's no question that we've been in the doldrums for a while, we're all keen and passionate to get into the new year, an election year and to get out there on the hustings fighting for those things that we believe in.’


Late Old English husting ‘deliberative assembly, council’, from Old Norse hústhing ‘household assembly held by a leader’, from hús ‘house’ + thing ‘assembly, parliament’; hustings was applied in Middle English to the highest court of the City of London, presided over by the Recorder of London. Subsequently it denoted the platform in Guildhall where the Lord Mayor and aldermen presided, and (early 18th century) a temporary platform on which parliamentary candidates were nominated; hence the sense ‘electoral proceedings’.