Transition metal chalcogenides have been widely studied as a promising electrocatalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in acidic conditions. Among various transition metal chalcogenides, tungsten disulfide (WS2) is a distinguishable candidate due to abundant active sites and good electrical properties. Herein, we report a facile and selective synthetic method to synthesize WS2 with an intriguing two-dimensional nanostructure by using cysteine (C3H7NO2S) as a chemical agent. In addition, nitrogen can be incorporated during chemical synthesis from cysteine, which may be helpful for enhancing the HER. The electrocatalytic activity of N-doped WS2 exhibits a promising HER in acidic conditions, which are not only higher than W18O49 nanowires and hex-WO3 nanowires, but also comparable to the benchmark Pt/C. Moreover, excellent electrocatalytic stability is also demonstrated for acidic HER during long-term tests, thus highlighting its potential use of practical applications as an electrolyzer. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.