[ thuhg ]
/ θʌg /


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

First recorded in 1800–10, thug is from the Hindi word thag literally, rogue, cheat

Related forms

thug·ger·y [thuhg-uh-ree] /ˈθʌg ə ri/, nounthug·gish, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for thug

British Dictionary definitions for thug


/ (θʌɡ) /


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

Derived Forms

thuggery, nounthuggish, adjective

Word Origin for thug

C19: from Hindi thag thief, from Sanskrit sthaga scoundrel, from sthagati to conceal
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