v. hus·tled, hus·tling, hus·tles
1. To move or act energetically and rapidly: We hustled to get dinner ready on time.
2. To push or force one's way.
3. To act aggressively, especially in business dealings.
a. To obtain something by deceitful or illicit means; practice theft or swindling.
b. To solicit customers. Used of a pimp or prostitute.
c. To misrepresent one's ability in order to deceive someone, especially in gambling.
1. To push or convey in a hurried or rough manner: hustled the prisoner into a van.
2. To cause or urge to proceed quickly; hurry: hustled the board into a quick decision.
a. To sell or get by questionable or aggressive means: hustled stolen watches; hustling spare change.
b. To pressure into buying or doing something: a barfly hustling the other customers for drinks.
c. To misrepresent one's skill in (a game or activity) in order to deceive someone, especially in gambling: hustle pool.
1. The act or an instance of jostling or shoving.
2. Energetic activity; drive.
3. Slang An illicit or unethical way of doing business or obtaining money; a fraud or deceit: "the most dangerous and wide-open drug hustle of them all" (Newsweek).
[Dutch husselen, to shake, from Middle Dutch hustelen, frequentative of hutsen.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.