Definition of thug in English:

thug

Syllabification: thug
Pronunciation: /THəg
 
/

noun

1A violent person, especially a criminal.
[ mid 19th century: extension of sense 2]
More example sentences
  • The Tories are anxious not to upset anybody these days, even thugs and criminals.
  • Alcohol wrecks lives and families and too often transforms people into violent thugs.
  • A frail widow was brutally robbed of her life savings in her own home by a violent thug who left her with a broken arm and leg.
Synonyms
ruffian, hooligan, vandal, hoodlum, gangster, villain, criminal
informal tough, bruiser, hardman, goon, heavy, enforcer, hired gun, hood
2 (Thug) historical A member of a religious organization of robbers and assassins in India. Devotees of the goddess Kali, the Thugs waylaid and strangled their victims, usually travelers, in a ritually prescribed manner. They were suppressed by the British in the 1830s.
More example sentences
  • In 7th century India members of the Thug cult would ritually strangle passers-by as sacrifices to the Hindu deity, Kali.
  • The Thugs strangle their victims, steal their possessions, and bury them in pre-dug pits.
  • The original Thugs were bands of roving criminals in India who strangled and robbed travellers.

Origin

early 19th century (sense 2): from Hindi ṭhag 'swindler, thief', based on Sanskrit sthagati 'he covers or conceals'.

Derivatives

thuggery

noun
More example sentences
  • We are absolutely fed up with the anti-social element in our midst, whose lives consist of wanton vandalism, theft, thuggery and the like.
  • There were guns, drug barons, organised thuggery.
  • Those who dominate in the new 249-seat Wolesi Jirga will have secured their seat through a mixture of thuggery and bribery.

thuggish

adjective
More example sentences
  • Crime busters fighting to rid a Penhill estate of vandalism and thuggish behaviour are appealing for more help.
  • Its crude threats and thuggish intimidation of local fishermen are not a sign of strength but of political weakness.
  • What was done here was thuggish, malevolent, illegal, and immoral.

thuggishly

adverb
More example sentences
  • He really lashed out, calling them thuggish, saying that thuggishly, this union has turned its back on New York, and New Yorkers.
  • Park and his partner continue to thuggishly interrogate the local townsmen, attempting to pin the crime on the local town dunce.
  • It's one of the sorrier episodes of Chinese history that China has so thuggishly gone into Tibet and occupied it.

thuggishness

noun
More example sentences
  • The Vice President weighed in with characteristic thuggishness, denouncing criticism of the domestic spying.
  • While our enemies' names might have changed, their duplicitous thuggishness hasn't.
  • There's none of that half-cocked, late-night thuggishness about these soldiers.

thuggism

Pronunciation: /-ˌgizəm/
noun
More example sentences
  • Their critique of that group's nepotism, pocket-lining and thuggism has some truth.

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