Definition of thug noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//θʌɡ//
; NAmE NAmE//θʌɡ//
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a violent person, especially a criminal a gang of thugs He was beaten up by a gang of thugs. A gang of thugs had attacked him with sticks. See related entries: Criminals Word Originearly 19th cent. (originally referring to a member of an organization of robbers and assassins in India): from Hindi ṭhag ‘swindler, thief’, based on Sanskrit sthagati ‘he covers or conceals’. The current sense arose in the mid 19th cent.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: thug