Definition of shyster in English:



  • A person, especially a lawyer, who uses unscrupulous, fraudulent, or deceptive methods in business.

    • ‘He's a shyster, they say, ripping off poor uneducated country folk with his mumbo-jumbo, and luring a stream of young girls into his bed.’
    • ‘The defense painted the accuser's mother as a shakedown shyster.’
    • ‘The refugee issue comes down to a shyster pointing out with one hand those people over there who will harm you, while dipping the other hand into the pocket of the xenophobicly distracted.’
    • ‘He was a shyster lawyer, and had a wife and thirteen half-witted children.’
    • ‘Adapted from the short stories of Damon Runyon, the show put on stage for the first time the gamblers, gangsters and shysters of the area around Times Square.’
    • ‘Austere narrative depicts a 1950s Peterborough, Ontario swarming with tricksters, murderers, shysters and sodomites.’
    • ‘So now, six years in, what should these shysters, lawyers, and purveyors of vacuous mediocrity do next?’
    • ‘And some would call him a big, you know, phony and a shyster.’
    • ‘‘There were shysters, con men, everybody who would find this business attractive because you print your own money,’ he recalls.’
    • ‘There is no place for chancers, shysters and skelms at sea… no political payback appointments who could literally sink a ship.’
    • ‘I was under no obligation to serve anything to the other party whatsoever, and if they had any complaints then they should take it up with the shyster.’
    • ‘Ellis claims that the deceased shyster forgave him several months' rent that Harry now tries to collect.’
    • ‘He declared the amount to be ‘good value for money in a business largely conducted by shysters and sharks.’’
    • ‘The gun manufacturers, together with other interested parties, should sue the law schools that manufacture the sort of ambulance-chasing shysters who initiate such litigation.’
    • ‘If there'd been anything to sue and resue and re-resue over, you can bet those 5,000 shysters the campaign flew in would be doing it.’
    • ‘Joseph Alessi's playing of the husband and then a shyster lawyer is fine acting.’
    • ‘Today many of the players earn huge amounts of money, and in place of the local shyster looking for a little glory, you have the multinational capitalist looking for huge profits.’
    • ‘I put myself out on the line for this guy, and he was nothing but a shyster with a slick lawyer.’
    • ‘Sekules eventually left the sport behind, increasingly disgusted at the mercenary amorality of the businessmen and shysters behind the scenes.’
    • ‘But to a significant degree it keeps out shysters, and those who are in meet minimum acceptable standards.’


Mid 19th century: origin uncertain; perhaps related to German Scheisser worthless person.