Thug Definition

thŭg
thugs
noun
thugs
A rough, brutal hoodlum, gangster, robber, etc.
Webster's New World
A member of a former group in India that murdered and robbed in the service of Kali.
Webster's New World

A criminal with an intimidating and unseemly appearance and mannerisms, who treats others violently and roughly, especially for hire.

Wiktionary

Other Word Forms of Thug

Noun

Singular:
thug
Plural:
thugs

Origin of Thug

  • From Hindi ठग्गी (á¹­haggÄ«), from Marathi ठक (thak, “thief, swindler"), from Sanskrit स्थग (sthaga, “cunning, fraudulent, to cover, to conceal") hence स्थगति (sthagati, “he/she/it covers, he/she/it conceals"). Thuggee was an Indian network of secret fraternities who were engaged in murdering and robbing travellers and known for strangling their victims, operating from the 17th century (possibly as early as 13th century) to the 19th century. During British Imperial rule of India, many Indian words passed into common English, and in 1810 thug referred to members of these Indian gangs. The sense was adopted more generally as "ruffian, cutthroat" by 1839.

    From Wiktionary

  • Hindi ṭhag perhaps from Sanskrit sthagaḥ a cheat from sthagati, sthagayati he conceals (s)teg- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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