Definition of hustle in English:



  • 1with object Push roughly; jostle.

    ‘they were hissed and hustled as they went in’
    • ‘The mayhem will then being in earnest as the gang intimidate the natives and wander through the bar hustling the bar tenders and drinking pre prepared shots - neat of course!’
    jostle, push, push roughly, bump, knock, shove, nudge, elbow, shoulder
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object and adverbial of direction Force (someone) to move hurriedly or unceremoniously.
      ‘I was hustled away to a cold cell’
      • ‘Mum is hustling us along, clearing the area, searching for forgotten items.’
      • ‘Edward, with his guitar, was trying to hustle people out the door.’
      • ‘We are hustled down a series of corridors to his office.’
      • ‘Soon after they had stopped, the door roared aside and the ubiquitous soldiers were hustling the weary people off the train.’
      • ‘He hustled me toward the entryway that led downstairs, swung open the door, and shoved me through.’
      • ‘These people were hustling me along towards their car, and I had to do something about it.’
      • ‘I hustled him out of the theater to sit on a bench for a few minutes.’
      • ‘He goes to have a shower, while she hustles Paul out of the apartment.’
      • ‘His son had made a decision and was hustling his father out of there as fast as possible.’
      • ‘We were kept waiting for 30 minutes or so until armed guards and other aides suddenly rushed into the foyer and hustled us out the door into a courtyard.’
      • ‘When the doorbell rang, I bounced up, but Aunt Rachel hustled me back into the sitting room as she answered the door.’
      • ‘A few minutes later, Christy hustled us to the door to get into the waiting cars, which would take us to the show.’
      • ‘I'm hustled back down through the mud tunnels and out of the compound.’
      • ‘And briefly, before the orchestra builds to a crescendo and I am hustled from the awards podium.’
      • ‘She was unbending and ordered a couple of security guards to hustle me out.’
      • ‘They desperately want to hustle him out of the lake and into the warmth of their waiting ambulance.’
      • ‘They caught it early and hustled him right over to the hospital, and he expects to be released later on today.’
      • ‘A group of men hustled her and reporters attempting to speak with her away from the stage.’
      • ‘Panic-stricken, she hustled her family away from their house before reporting the ‘bomb scare’ to the shop where she bought the computer.’
      • ‘With barely an apology, the bemused travelers were hustled off the train at Wellingborough and shovelled over the bridge to catch the next train south.’
    2. 1.2no object, with adverbial of direction Push one's way; bustle.
      ‘Stockwell hustled into the penalty area’
      • ‘The guy is hustling every second of every round which means his opponents will not have any time to rest.’
      • ‘Boston players shook hands and exchanged hugs and high-fives after the final out, then hustled into the clubhouse where the celebration really got wild.’
      • ‘The streets were filled with people, hustling and bustling about.’
      • ‘I wasn't heckled, I wasn't jeered, but my wife and I did have to hustle out of there quickly so we could stop the babysitter's clock from bankrupting us.’
      • ‘And we hustle all the way back up stairs and go to bed.’
      • ‘They made a quick call to the police and hustled out of the apartment.’
      • ‘I hustled and bustled about the entire day, working on fast forward mode.’
      • ‘Whispers were abounded and people were moving, bustling, hustling, everywhere.’
      • ‘But with interest rates low and rents on the rise, it seems nearly everyone in town is hustling to buy a home.’
      • ‘A short, white-haired little woman soon appeared at the door, hustling and bustling about.’
      • ‘He stood outside as a few cooks hustled and bustled around to finish the orders.’
      • ‘Coming back, retracing the path, it turned colder and we were really hustling to keep warm and get home.’
      • ‘I was hustling past the nurse's station on my way out when I recognized an extremely short female patient there as my old pal.’
      • ‘I pick my moment and bolt from the brush, hustling across in a comically suspicious trot.’
      • ‘Every crew was hustling and bustling to get their cars prepped and ready for the long day.’
      • ‘The students are hustling and bustling about, Ms. Hunter frantically handing back the test papers.’
      • ‘Two men in business suits came hustling along carrying stacks of blue papers, handing one to each couple.’
      • ‘We hustled to pack up our tables and bags and, holding our tents aloft, started marching.’
      • ‘They hustled past me, and, led by my father and the doctor, went straight upstairs.’
      • ‘A short, thin-faced young man with a sparse mustache hustled around from the back of the van.’
      manhandle, push, shove, thrust, frogmarch, bulldoze
      View synonyms
  • 2North American informal with object Obtain illicitly or by forceful action.

    ‘Linda hustled money from men she met’
    • ‘There may be a mother wondering where her child is while this fellow pushes him around the streets and subways hustling drug money.’
    • ‘He doesn't know that the bar owner has paid off the cops, and the bartender is a henchman who hustled votes for the judge.’
    • ‘But hustling dollars is now a challenge faced by all museums, and patrons have always demanded a return on their investments.’
    • ‘We hustled some grants out of a Methodist church.’
    • ‘His days are spent hustling jobs from farmers who exploit the indigent, any-manner-of-employment seeking migrant workers.’
    • ‘The widespread poverty of the area made blacks all the more susceptible to the ploys of those trying to hustle them out of their money for supposed burials.’
    • ‘During my 40 years of pool playing, I have never been hustled out of a significant amount of money.’
    • ‘The city's residents hustle odd jobs and steal electricity through spliced-on cables that siphon off the juice for free.’
    1. 2.1hustle someone into Pressure someone into doing something.
      ‘don't be hustled into anything unless you really want to’
      • ‘Then hustle them into saying something that will make the next morning's headlines.’
      coerce, force, compel, pressure, pressurize, badger, pester, hound, harass, nag, harry, urge, goad, prod, spur
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 Sell aggressively.
      ‘he hustled his company's oil around the country’
      • ‘He had written a great novel which I encouraged him to keep hustling.’
      • ‘Charlie is known for hustling hot dogs in operatic style at baseball games.’
      • ‘You will need to really hustle, network, and make all the contacts you can.’
      • ‘He ‘pounded the streets, hustling to stores and galleries’ in an attempt to sell his art.’
  • 3North American informal no object Engage in prostitution.

    ‘she would hustle for a few dollars’
    • ‘We all worried about him and hoped he'd someday be able to tell us what exactly it was, and we all had our theories - that he was living on the street, that he was hustling, etc.’
    • ‘It's clear that if they're not placed into boarding schools pronto, the girls will be whoring and the boys will be hustling within the next couple of years.’
    • ‘In 1998, he tried to be more careful about protecting himself, but he spent the summer hustling for money to pay for his apartment and for school.’
    • ‘Joey is hustling on Melrose with the transvestites and rent-boys when a limo pulls to the curb.’
    • ‘Then he says he hustles on the street only for enough money to buy food before going home to late at night.’


  • 1mass noun A state of great activity.

    ‘the hustle and bustle of the big cities’
    • ‘The name of the restaurant refers to the fifteen employees who attempt to cope with the constant hustle and bustle.’
    • ‘It was a fairly nice place, I didn't see anything wrong with it, apart from the quietness, I'm too used to all my city hustle and bustle I guess!’
    • ‘The usual hustle and bustle had been replaced by an eerie hush.’
    • ‘But soon after they get a taste of the real hustle and bustle of the capital, a lot of them realize that the city is not everything they expected it to be.’
    • ‘Well, the food buffs can't miss the city's hustle and bustle.’
    • ‘The town has just been depressed, whereas it would normally be full of hustle and bustle on a Friday.’
    • ‘Both city centre streets and out-of-town shopping centres were full of shoppers over the weekend, but without the manic hustle and bustle often experienced so close to Christmas.’
    • ‘But there's a definite feeling of hustle and bustle.’
    • ‘From 10.30 am on Saturday, the usual hustle and bustle of weekend shoppers ground to a halt as people stopped to watch the procession.’
    • ‘A picture of hustle and bustle and untold exertion.’
    • ‘It's a 12-hour flight there from the UK and you may be a little overwhelmed by the noisy, colourful hustle and bustle that you'll encounter on the way from the airport to your hotel.’
    • ‘It's kind of refreshing as I can get away from Jakarta's hustle and bustle.’
    • ‘Despite the noticeable hustle and bustle, little trade is being done.’
    • ‘The hustle and bustle that one witnessed every working day was not there, for it was a holiday for most.’
    • ‘At the same time, another city halfway around the world well known for its hustle and bustle will soon change its noise pollution laws drastically.’
    • ‘The journey resumes amid much hustle and bustle.’
    • ‘For a start, even amid the incredible hustle and bustle the waiting staff are extremely friendly, and the food is far more than passable; at times it's verging on being excellent.’
    • ‘Despite the crowded streets and lively nights, Hong Kong is not all hustle and bustle.’
    • ‘For one reason or another, a racegoer's favourite equine performer can end up living a life far removed from the familiar hustle and bustle of the racecourse.’
    • ‘The hustle and bustle of the urban streetscape intentionally contrasts with the serenity of a residents' garden courtyard designed to engender social interaction.’
    activity, bustle, hustle and bustle, hurly-burly, commotion, tumult, hubbub, brouhaha, busyness, action, liveliness, animation, movement, life, excitement, agitation, fuss, flurry, stir, whirl
    View synonyms
  • 2North American informal A fraud or swindle.

    ‘the hustles being used to avoid the draft’
    • ‘These hustles were for big money, five grand and up.’
    • ‘And they were going to do the hustle, whatever that was.’
    • ‘Everyone can see that companies using various dodges and hustles are dominating the airwaves attempting to scare up business for compensation claims.’
    • ‘With legitimate job prospects hampered by a felony record, many ex-convicts return to old hustles to survive.’
    • ‘Better yet, I could skip all the hustles and put on a real money-making outfit.’
    • ‘Most of the hustles are meant, naturally, to appear not to be hustles at all, but genuine appeals for emergency financial assistance.’
    • ‘In prison, while dealing with corrupt guards and prison riots, attending church services, visiting the library and working his prison job, Hart cultivated new partners and hustles.’
    • ‘What's worse, these scams give more ammunition to reparations opponents who brand reparations as nothing but a get-rich-quick hustle.’
    • ‘As a consequence, reparations come off as a hustle and scam that would flush their hard earned tax dollars down a black hole with nothing in return for them.’
    • ‘Many of the hustles and scams in the film are taken directly from his own poolhall adventures.’
    • ‘I had to work my way up from scams to hustles to grifts to short-cons to swindles to long-cons to heists to inside jobs to stings to capers to scores.’
    fraud, swindle, fraudulent scheme, confidence trick, mare's nest
    View synonyms


  • hustle one's ass

    • vulgar slang Move or act quickly.

      ‘he gave her a fixed stare, hoping she'd get the point and hustle her ass out of his seat’
  • hustle one's butt

    • informal Move or act quickly.

      ‘hustle your butt back here’


Late 17th century (originally in the sense ‘shake, toss’): from Middle Dutch hutselen. hustle (sense 3 of the verb) dates from the early 20th century.