hoodlum

[ hood-luh m, hoo d- ]
/ ˈhud ləm, ˈhʊd- /

noun

a thug or gangster.
a young street ruffian, especially one belonging to a gang.

Nearby words

  1. hooded seal,
  2. hooded top,
  3. hooded warbler,
  4. hoodia,
  5. hoodie,
  6. hoodman-blind,
  7. hoodoo,
  8. hoodooism,
  9. hoodwink,
  10. hooey

Origin of hoodlum

1870–75, Americanism; probably < dialectal German; compare Swabian derivatives of Hudel rag, e.g. hudelum disorderly, hudellam weak, slack Hudellump(e) rags, slovenly, careless person, and related words in other dialects

Related formshood·lum·ish, adjectivehood·lum·ism, noun

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Examples from the Web for hoodlum


British Dictionary definitions for hoodlum

hoodlum

/ (ˈhuːdləm) /

noun

a petty gangster or ruffian
a lawless youth
Derived Formshoodlumism, noun

Word Origin for hoodlum

C19: perhaps from Southern German dialect Haderlump ragged good-for-nothing

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for hoodlum

hoodlum

n.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper