hoo·​li·​gan | \ ˈhü-li-gən How to pronounce hooligan (audio) \
plural hooligans

Definition of hooligan

: a usually young man who engages in rowdy or violent behavior especially as part of a group or gang : ruffian, hoodlum We had four great beefy hooligans on to us when Linton got his tooth knocked out.— P. G. Wodehouse "At school I ran with the hooligans and tried to act tough."— John Keen More recently the tabloid press dubbed English football hooligans "lager louts" as if it was the fizzy beer that was the problem rather than that many supporters were more interested in fighting than football.— Henry Jeffreys

Examples of hooligan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But then came an incident where the two teens went on some kind of hooligan tour around the Bishop of Chester’s property, drunkenly pulling down fences, scattering his deer and other game. Anne Thériault, Longreads, 21 June 2022 In his youth the rapper, born Ivan Dremin, was briefly drawn into the far-right soccer hooligan culture in his hometown of Ufa in Russia’s south. John Arterbury, Rolling Stone, 20 Apr. 2022 The Hypermotard has melded supermoto culture and sportbike speed better than any other, and over time has become the hooligan’s bike of choice to really stand out from the crowd. Peter Jackson, Robb Report, 29 Apr. 2022 Yet Stefanov’s patient eye looks beyond that veneer of violent masculinity and finds through Tsetso, a skinhead hooligan with a Swastika on his chest and a single father, a wide range of nuance that give surprising depth to their human experience. Emiliano Granada, Variety, 28 Mar. 2022 River City’s buffoonish Mayor Shinn (Jefferson Mays, full of red-faced comic bluster) is furious that his eldest daughter is going steady with the town hooligan, Tommy Djilas (Gino Cosculluela). Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, 14 Feb. 2022 While the Ioniq 5 encourages a relaxed driving style, the EV6 encouraged my inner hooligan—at least as long as the low-rolling-resistance tires cooperated. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 30 Jan. 2022 When behaving less like a hooligan, the CX-T grips, goes and shrugs off anything the rally course can throw at it. Alistair Charlton, Forbes, 28 Oct. 2021 My mother [Debbie Reynolds] says Gary is a hooligan. Glenn Garner, PEOPLE.com, 21 Oct. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hooligan.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of hooligan

1896, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hooligan

perhaps from Patrick Hooligan who flourished in 1896 as an Irish hoodlum in Southwark, London

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The first known use of hooligan was in 1896

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Last Updated

23 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hooligan.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hooligan. Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of hooligan for Spanish Speakers


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