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Unknown. Probably from US Southern dialectal hassle (to pant, breathe noisily), possibly from haste +‎ -le (frequentative suffix).


  • IPA(key): /ˈhæsl̩/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æsəl


hassle (plural hassles)

  1. Trouble, bother, unwanted annoyances or problems.
    I went through a lot of hassle to be the first to get a ticket.
  2. A fight or argument.
  3. An action which is not worth the difficulty involved.

Derived terms[edit]



hassle (third-person singular simple present hassles, present participle hassling, simple past and past participle hassled)

  1. (transitive) To trouble, to bother, to annoy.
    The unlucky boy was hassled by a gang of troublemakers on his way home.
    • 1969, Beard & Kennedy, Bored of the Rings, page 42:
      "Oh uncool bush! Unloose this passle Of furry cats that you hassle!"
  2. (transitive) To pick a fight or start an argument with.
  3. (military, aviation, slang) To engage in a mock dogfight.
    • 2018, Tom Wolfe, The Right Stuff:
      Likewise, “hassling”—mock dogfighting—was strictly forbidden, and so naturally young fighter jocks could hardly wait to go up in, say, a pair of F–100s and start the duel by making a pass at each other at 800 miles an hour, []
    • 2019, Dan Pedersen, Topgun:
      If you were caught 'hassling,' as we called dogfighting, your career could end. The edict against dogfighting divided our squadron into three factions.



hassle (comparative more hassle, superlative most hassle)

  1. (Philippines) hassling; hasslesome


  • hassle”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.