\ ˈthəg \

Definition of thug

: a brutal ruffian or assassin : gangster, tough

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Other Words from thug

thuggery \ ˈthə-​g(ə-​)rē \ noun
thuggish \ ˈthə-​gish \ adjective

Examples of thug in a Sentence

He was beaten and robbed by street thugs. the Mob boss regularly sent his thugs after people who were slow to pay their debts

Recent Examples on the Web

Thus, his casting in the Epix series as a murderous thug breaking into movie-producing (insert Hollywood joke here) caught some off-guard – including O'Dowd himself. Michael Ordona,, "A manipulator, a thug and a killer, yes, but Chris O’Dowd in 'Get Shorty' is kind of lovable too," 17 May 2018 Ffion’s intimidating thug of a father, Quinn (Mark Lewis Jones), is leaning increasingly heavily on Malcolm (Michael Sheen), the prophet and leader of the community, to change his beliefs and behaviors. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Netflix’s Apostle takes The Wicker Man to a radical new level," 12 Oct. 2018 An officer with the Orlando Police Department is facing an 80-hour suspension after a controversial Facebook post that described athletes as thugs and black people as savages, according to a report on WFTV-Ch. The Web Staff,, "OPD officer faces discipline for Facebook post: report," 12 Jan. 2018 In 2012, Obaid-Chinoy set out to make the country’s first full-length animated film, a superhero movie in which a group of Pakistani kids fight to save their home, the Town of Light, from thugs. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "An Activist-Filmmaker Tackles Patriarchy in Pakistan," 6 Feb. 2016 So Bernard — careful, thoughtful Bernard — set all this in motion, and then intentionally scrambled his memories as a safeguard against the Delos thugs. William Lee,, "‘Westworld’ Episode 10 recap: 5 things to know about ‘The Passenger’ and Season 2's finale," 24 June 2018 Several Russian politicians voiced their support for the thugs for defending Russia’s honor. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Russia's World Cup: Will Vladimir Putin keep the peace?," 14 June 2018 With the usual narratives of the black inner-city thug and the sheltered rich blond switched, Tandy and Tyrone become individuals, with unique issues and challenges, and that’s what drives this series. Lorraine Ali,, "'Marvel's Cloak & Dagger' gives us superheroes with a curfew and a very different sort of story line," 7 June 2018 The demonstrators’ accusations echo those during Afghanistan’s civil war in the early 1990s, a battle of spoils among warlords, thugs and mujahedeen fighters that reduced parts of the country to anarchy. Ehsanullah Amiri, WSJ, "Suicide Bomber Kills Dozens of Afghans Protesting Local Official," 12 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thug.' 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 thug

1810, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for thug

Hindi & Urdu ṭhag, literally, thief

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Statistics for thug

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for thug

The first known use of thug was in 1810

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English Language Learners Definition of thug

: a violent criminal


\ ˈthəg \

Kids Definition of thug

: a violent person or criminal

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More from Merriam-Webster on thug

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thug

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thug

Spanish Central: Translation of thug

Nglish: Translation of thug for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thug for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about thug

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