from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • A place where political campaign speeches are made: a candidate out on the hustings in the farm belt.
  • The activities involved in political campaigning: a veteran of the hustings.
  • Chiefly British A court formerly held in some English cities and still held infrequently in London.
  • Chiefly British A platform on which candidates for Parliament formerly stood to address the electors.
  • Chiefly British The proceedings of a parliamentary election.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A platform where candidates in an election give speeches; a husting.
  • n. An election campaign.
  • n. Plural form of husting (assembly).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A court formerly held in several cities of England; specif., a court held in London, before the lord mayor, recorder, and sheriffs, to determine certain classes of suits for the recovery of lands within the city. In the progress of law reform this court has become unimportant.
  • Any one of the temporary courts held for the election of members of the British Parliament.
  • The platform on which candidates for Parliament formerly stood in addressing the electors.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the activities involved in political campaigning (especially speech making)


From Middle English husting, court of common pleas, from Old English hūsting, court, from Old Norse hūsthing : hūs, house + thing, assembly.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
husting + -s; for more information, see husting (Wiktionary)



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  • "From Old English husting 'court'. This word originated in Old Norse 'husthing', a compound comprising hus 'house' + thing 'assembly'. It was originally a council convened by a king or an earl that acted as a judicial body. By the 18th century it was a court in the city of London that met irregularly in the Guildhall. It was in this building that members of Parliament came to be nominated by a speech given from a platform upon which the Lord Mayor and aldermen were seated. This practice ended with the Ballot Act of 1872. By that time, however, the platform itself was called the hustings and, from there, it went on to refer to the place of any political speech or the process of being nominated or elected to public office."
    - Dr. Goodword,, 20 Aug 2008.

    August 20, 2008

  • from Middlemarch

    October 1, 2007