[ muhg-ing ]
/ ˈmʌg ɪŋ /


an assault or threat of violence upon a person, especially with intent to rob.

Words nearby mugging

Origin of mugging

First recorded in 1840–50; mug + -ing1

Definition for mugging (2 of 2)

[ muhg ]
/ mʌg /


verb (used with object), mugged, mug·ging.

to assault or menace, especially with the intention of robbery.
Slang. to photograph (a person), especially in compliance with an official or legal requirement.

verb (used without object), mugged, mug·ging.

Slang. to grimace; exaggerate a facial expression, as in acting.

Origin of mug

1560–70; probably < Scandinavian; compare Swedish mugg, Norwegian, Danish mugge drinking cup; sense “face” apparently transferred from cups adorned with grotesque faces; sense “to assault” from earlier pugilistic slang “to strike in the face, fight”


burglarize mug rip off rob steal (see synonym study at rob) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for mugging

British Dictionary definitions for mugging (1 of 2)

/ (mʌɡ) /


a drinking vessel with a handle, usually cylindrical and made of earthenware
Also called: mugful the quantity held by a mug or its contents

Word Origin for mug

C16: probably from Scandinavian; compare Swedish mugg

British Dictionary definitions for mugging (2 of 2)

/ (mʌɡ) /


slang a person's face or mouthget your ugly mug out of here!
slang a grimace
British slang a gullible person, esp one who is swindled easily
a mug's game a worthless activity

verb mugs, mugging or mugged

(tr) informal to attack or rob (someone) violently
(intr) British slang to pull faces or overact, esp in front of a camera
See also mug up

Word Origin for mug

C18: perhaps from mug 1, since drinking vessels were sometimes modelled into the likeness of a face
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