Share this entry

Share this page

hooligan

Syllabification: hoo·li·gan
Pronunciation: /ˈho͞oləɡən
 
/

Definition of hooligan in English:

noun

A violent young troublemaker, typically one of a gang.
Example sentences
  • He said: "Obviously, the repeated vandalism of the statue is of great concern and hopefully the mindless hooligans responsible will be caught."
  • Our evidence of the calibre of rank and file terrorists does not support the view that they are mindless hooligans drawn from the unemployed and the employable …
  • Seventy people, if you can call a screaming mob of hooligans human in any meaningful sense of the word, have been arrested for their role in the destruction of 18,000 books and 30,000 manuscripts.
Synonyms
troublemaker, delinquent, juvenile delinquent, mischief-maker, vandal;
rowdy, ruffian, yahoo

Origin

late 19th century: perhaps from Hooligan, the surname of a fictional rowdy Irish family in a music-hall song of the 1890s, also of a character in a cartoon.

Derivatives

hooliganism

1
Pronunciation: /-ˌnizəm/
noun
Example sentences
  • Why is it difficult for them to understand that violence and other forms of hooliganism will not provide solutions to their problems?
  • We have problems such as graffiti, loutish behaviour, football hooliganism, rampant drug abuse and teenage pregnancies.
  • But the new law also extends to a wide range of offences, including sports hooliganism and malicious damage.

Definition of hooligan in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day jaunt
Pronunciation: jônt
noun
a short excursion or journey for pleasure