hooligan

noun
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

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Examples of hooligan in a Sentence

The windows were broken by a gang of teenage hooligans. shouldn't you hooligans be in school instead of threatening old ladies?
Recent Examples on the Web In such incidents, hooligans, spiteful and evil people, often enter the field and, sometimes, some youths, driven by emotion, accompany them and commit seditious acts. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Could Iran’s Revolution Unravel Over a Four-Cent Price Hike?," 6 Dec. 2019 An episode on tribalism profiles pro- and anti-Trump activists, Israelis and Palestinians, easily angered soccer hooligans and survivors of Myanmar’s Rohingya genocide. Judy Berman, Time, "Discovery Docuseries Why We Hate Is Essential Viewing. It's Also Deeply Flawed," 10 Oct. 2019 The first pride parade in Belgrade was organized in 2001 and participants were attacked by hooligans and ultranationalist groups. BostonGlobe.com, "Serbian police intervene to protect gay pride parade - The Boston Globe," 16 Sep. 2019 The first pride parade in Belgrade was organized in 2001 and participants were attacked by hooligans and ultranationalist groups. BostonGlobe.com, "Serbian police intervene to protect gay pride parade - The Boston Globe," 16 Sep. 2019 The first pride parade in Belgrade was organized in 2001 and participants were attacked by hooligans and ultranationalist groups. Washington Post, "Serbian police intervene to protect gay pride parade," 15 Sep. 2019 But fears of violence are high after LGBTQ festivals in Sarajevo were attacked by radical Islamists and hooligans in 2008 and 2014, injuring several people. NBC News, "Bosnia's first LGBTQ parade defies threats, urges tolerance," 6 Sep. 2019 China organizations have mobilized to discredit the protesters as violent hooligans bent on wrecking the city. Andrew Higgins, New York Times, "From the Shadows, China’s Communist Party Mobilizes Against Hong Kong Protests," 20 Aug. 2019 Not even Nkrumah’s association with communism and the castigation of his followers as hooligans could stop the party’s progress and Nkrumah’s march towards political independence. Akwasi Kwarteng Amoako-gyampah, Quartz Africa, "The “tragic error” that led to Kwame Nkrumah becoming one of Africa’s great independence leaders," 7 Aug. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of hooligan

1896, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hooligan

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

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Time Traveler for hooligan

Time Traveler

The first known use of hooligan was in 1896

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Statistics for hooligan

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hooligan.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hooligan. Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for hooligan

hooligan

noun
How to pronounce hooligan (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hooligan

: a usually young man who does noisy and violent things as part of a group or gang

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More from Merriam-Webster on hooligan

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hooligan

Spanish Central: Translation of hooligan

Nglish: Translation of hooligan for Spanish Speakers

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