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

Recent Examples on the Web In the aftermath of Sunday, much has been said on the nuances between a fan, a hooligan, and a criminal. Raven Smith, Vogue, 15 July 2021 New parking lots along the road will accommodate fishermen who previously lined the shoulders of the highway while dipnetting and fishing for hooligan. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, 24 June 2020 But if you, like me, consider your blow-dryer among your five best friends, then there are solutions for hooligans like us. Tatjana Freund, Marie Claire, 6 May 2020 Earlier this year, two hooligans in a Las Vegas parking garage were caught kicking a Model 3, and a woman in a parking garage in Australia was filmed keying the side of a Tesla. Mihir Maddireddy, Car and Driver, 26 Feb. 2020 The first pride parade in Belgrade was organized in 2001 and participants were attacked by hooligans and ultranationalist groups. BostonGlobe.com, 16 Sep. 2019 The first pride parade in Belgrade was organized in 2001 and participants were attacked by hooligans and ultranationalist groups. BostonGlobe.com, 16 Sep. 2019 Inebriated fans and hooligans have wreaked havoc in past San Francisco sports celebrations, most notably in 2012 when vandals torched a $700,000 Muni bus after the Giants won the World Series. Michael Cabanatuan, SFChronicle.com, 31 Jan. 2020 While Sport mode is fun for playing a hooligan, Comfort is a better fit for this Mini day to day. Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, 21 Jan. 2020

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

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The first known use of hooligan was in 1896

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Last Updated

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hooligan.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hooligan. Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for hooligan



English Language Learners Definition of hooligan

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

More from Merriam-Webster on hooligan

Nglish: Translation of hooligan for Spanish Speakers


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