- a cruel or vicious ruffian, robber, or murderer.
- (sometimes initial capital letter) one of a former group of professional robbers and murderers in India who strangled their victims.
Origin of thug
Examples from the Web for thug
In his infamous deposition video, you can clearly see that the “thug life” façade is stripped away.Method Man Talks Wu-Tang Clan Reunion, Fake Rappers, and the Suge Knight Shooting
September 15, 2014
Maybe the thug even used to be you, until you went straight.
Women would refuse to go near any man with thuggish associations, for real—barely a thug could expect to get any action.
I also made a thug chase movie with a bunch of my friends in high school.How ‘Transcendence’ Director Wally Pfister Became Christopher Nolan’s Secret Weapon
April 17, 2014
The Kremlin loses a useful propaganda tool, but it also eliminates a thug with a lot of Russian blood on his hands.Who Killed One of the Most Notorious Right Sector Leaders in Ukraine?
March 27, 2014
I'm going to catch this thug and I'll tell you how I'll do it.The Misplaced Battleship
Harry Harrison (AKA Henry Maxwell Dempsey)
His fist hit the thug in the elbow, just as the man's hand reached for his knife.Police Your Planet
Lester del Rey
About every day I have to send for the sheriff and have some thug arrested.
Of course it seemed ridiculous that a Thug should strangle the old man.The Opal Serpent
He had changed from a thug into a determined, ambitious man.The Destroyers
Gordon Randall Garrett
- a tough and violent man, esp a criminal
- (sometimes capital) (formerly) a member of an organization of robbers and assassins in India who typically strangled their victims
Word Origin and History for thug
1810, "member of a gang of murderers and robbers in India who strangled their victims," from Marathi thag, thak "cheat, swindler," Hindi thag, perhaps from Sanskrit sthaga-s "cunning, fraudulent," possibly from sthagayati "(he) covers, conceals," from PIE root *(s)teg- "cover" (see stegosaurus). Transferred sense of "ruffian, cutthroat" first recorded 1839. The more correct Indian name is phanseegur, and the activity was described in English as far back as c.1665. Rigorously prosecuted by the British from 1831, they were driven from existence, but the process extended over the rest of the 19c.