hoodlum

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

noun

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

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 forms

hood·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 Forms

hoodlumism, noun

Word Origin for hoodlum

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