AskDefine | Define thug

Dictionary Definition

thug n : an aggressive and violent young criminal [syn: hood, hoodlum, goon, punk, tough, toughie, strong-armer]

User Contributed Dictionary



From | (or sc=Deva) < etyl mr |, | < स्थग < sc=Deva < . Thuggee was an Indian network of secret fraternities who were engaged in murdering and robbing travellers and known for strangling their victims, operating from the 17th century (possibly as early as 13th century) to the 19th century. During British Imperial rule of India, many Indian words passed into common English, and in 1810 thug referred to members of these Indian gangs. The sense was adopted more generally as "ruffian, cutthroat" by 1839.


  • , /θʌɡ/, /TVg/
    Rhymes with: -ʌɡ


  1. A criminal who treats others violently and roughly, especially for hire.
  2. One of a band of assassins formerly active in northern India who worshipped Kali and offered their victims to her.


a criminal who treats others violently or roughly
  • Finnish: roisto
  • Spanish: matón
a member of the Thuggee



  • lang=ga|[hʊɡ]


  1. Form of past, tabhair

Scottish Gaelic


  1. Form of past, thoir; gave

Extensive Definition

Thug may refer to:
  • Thug (in this usage written with an uppercase T) (from Hindi ठग ṭhag), a member of the defunct Indian cult Thuggee
  • A man, often a criminal, who treats others violently and roughly, especially for hire
  • Thug, a gardening term meaning an over-vigorous plant that spreads excessively
  • Thug, a wooden bat used in the naturists' game miniten
  • Thug, a type of allomancer in the Mistborn series of books by Brandon Sanderson
  • THUG, an abbreviation for Tony Hawk's Underground video game

In music

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Cain, Judas, Mafioso, adherent, apache, assassin, assassinator, bandit, battler, belligerent, belted knight, betrayer, bickerer, blade, bloodletter, bloodshedder, bravo, brawler, brigand, bucko, bully, bullyboy, burker, butcher, button man, cannibal, combatant, competitor, contender, contestant, convict, creature, criminal, crook, cutthroat, dacoit, deceiver, desperado, desperate criminal, devil, disciple, disputant, double-dealer, duelist, dummy, enforcer, eradicator, executioner, exterminator, felon, fencer, feuder, fighter, fighting cock, figurehead, flunky, foilsman, follower, fugitive, gallows bird, gamecock, gangster, gaolbird, garroter, gillie, gladiator, goon, gorilla, gun, gunman, gunsel, hanger-on, hatchet man, head-hunter, heavy, hell-raiser, hellcat, henchman, hit man, homicidal maniac, homicide, hood, hoodlum, hooligan, jackal, jailbird, jouster, killer, knight, lackey, lawbreaker, mad dog, man, man-eater, man-killer, manslayer, massacrer, matador, militant, minion, mobsman, mobster, mugger, murderer, myrmidon, outlaw, pesticide, plug-ugly, poison, poisoner, public enemy, puppet, quarreler, quisling, racketeer, rioter, rival, robber, rough, rowdy, ruffian, sabreur, satellite, scofflaw, scrapper, scuffler, slaughterer, slayer, squabbler, stooge, strangler, strong, strong arm, strong-arm man, strong-armer, struggler, swashbuckler, swindler, sword, swordplayer, swordsman, sycophant, terrorist, thief, tilter, torpedo, tough, traitor, trigger man, tussler, two-timer, votary, wrangler, yahoo
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