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[shahy-ster] /ˈʃaɪ stər/
noun, Informal.
a lawyer who uses unprofessional or questionable methods.
a person who gets along by petty, sharp practices.
Origin of shyster
1835-45, Americanism; probably < German Scheisser, equivalent to scheiss(en) to shit + -er -er1; final -ser conformed to -ster
Related forms
shysterism, noun
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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British Dictionary definitions for shyster


(informal, mainly US) a person, esp a lawyer or politician, who uses discreditable or unethical methods
Word Origin
C19: probably based on Scheuster, name of a disreputable 19th-century New York lawyer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shyster

"unscrupulous lawyer," 1843, U.S. slang, probably altered from German Scheisser "incompetent worthless person," from Scheisse "shit" (n.), from Old High German skizzan "to defecate" (see shit (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for shyster



: that were into them for shylock money and couldn't make the payments (1980s+)


A usurer; loan shark, shy: In Toronto and Hamilton both, loan sharks (''shylocks'') appeared in the gambling clubs (1786+)


: the shylocking that went with it as hot dogs go with baseball/ numbers games, shylocking, and other illegal operations (1930+)

[fr the character in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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