- 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 thuggery
These groups are generally united in their thuggery and xenophobia.Fascism Is Fashionable Again in Europe
June 8, 2014
In-state winger groups accused Casa of intimidation and thuggery.GOP Outreach to Latinos: Not Off to a Good Start
March 21, 2013
This tolerance for certain brands of thuggery is an old story on the left.The Pro-Palestinian Left's Hamas Blindspot
March 8, 2013
There was to be no gigantic clash of sea-arms; action was to be taken on the lines of Thuggery.Merchantmen-at-Arms
David W. Bone
- 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 thuggery
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.