• WordNet 3.6
    • n thug an aggressive and violent young criminal
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Behram, an Indian thug, holds the record for most murders by a single individual. He strangled 931 people between 1790-1840 with a piece of yellow and white cloth, called a ruhmal. The most murders by a woman are 612, by Countess Erzsebet Bathory of Hungary
    • Thug An assassin; a ruffian; a rough. "Thugs and midnight rounders."
    • Thug One of an association of robbers and murderers in India who practiced murder by stealthy approaches, and from religious motives. They have been nearly exterminated by the British government.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n thug A member of a confraternity of professional assassins and robbers formerly infesting India, chiefly in the central and northern provinces. The thugs roamed about the country in bands of from 10 to 100, usually in the disguise of peddlers or pilgrims, gaining the confidence of other travelers, whom they strangled, when a favorable opportunity presented itself, with a handkerchief, an unwound turban, or a noosed cord. The shedding of blood was seldom resorted to. The motive of the thugs was not so much lust of plunder as a certain religious fanaticism. The bodies of their victims were hidden in graves dug with a consecrated pickax, and of their spoil one third was devoted to the goddess Kali, whom they worshiped. About 1830–35 the British government took vigorous measures for their suppression, and thuggery, as an organized system, is now extinct.
    • n thug Hence A cutthroat; a ruffian; a rough.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Thug thug one of a class of professional robbers and assassins in India—a kind of secret religious fraternity, murdering stealthily by strangling or poisoning with datura, extirpated 1826-35: any cut-throat ruffian
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Hind. thag, a deceiver, robber
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Hind., thag, thug, cheat.


In literature:

And it seems not unlikely that these people may have been the true progenitors of the Thugs.
"The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - Volume IV of IV" by R.V. Russell
Sergeant, remove these young thugs and have them sent to the workhouse at once.
"At Good Old Siwash" by George Fitch
We've made preparations for you and your paid thugs, Mr.
"Frank Merriwell's Son" by Burt L. Standish
It is wiser not to resist a thug, is it not so?
"The Girl and The Bill" by Bannister Merwin
Segregation provides a resort, refuge and hiding place for criminals and thugs of every description.
"Fighting the Traffic in Young Girls" by Various
If this is not one of Poltavo's hired thugs, I am greatly mistaken.
"The Secret House" by Edgar Wallace
I'll hire thugs to break every bone in your body!
"The Making of Bobby Burnit" by George Randolph Chester
Belonging to a gang of Thugs.
"Prisoners Their Own Warders" by J. F. A. McNair
But you couldn't bring yourself to help a woman against two thugs.
"The Jupiter Weapon" by Charles Louis Fontenay
The three thugs who had been trying to overpower Tom were brutal fighters, and withal were men of muscle.
"Bert Wilson on the Gridiron" by J. W. Duffield
It was here Bob and Frank, he felt sure, had made their way and leaped on Higginbotham and the thug.
"The Radio Boys with the Revenue Guards" by Gerald Breckenridge
We aren't thieves or thugs.
"The Web of the Golden Spider" by Frederick Orin Bartlett
Then he moved in on the first thug.
"Arm of the Law" by Harry Harrison
The thugs crowded to the door.
"The Mountain Divide" by Frank H. Spearman
We are not to be scared by Wall Street or worked upon by their hired thugs and so resort to violence.
"The Harbor" by Ernest Poole
Lina and her father had been kept in there, with the little thug as their guard.
"Astounding Stories, March, 1931" by Various
The thug at the front of the car had barely realized what was happening by the time it was all over.
"Occasion for Disaster" by Gordon Randall Garrett
Then the two thugs heard our footsteps and turned to meet us.
"Nor Iron Bars a Cage...." by Gordon Randall Garrett
He wondered what had happened to Mikah Samon after the local thug in the horror outfit had bashed him with the club.
"The Ethical Engineer" by Henry Maxwell Dempsey
It does not appear how he would deal with a Thug.
"The History of Freedom" by John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

In poetry:

One cracked him with his billy
Above the left eye,
One thugged him with his pistol
And left him lie.
"The Ballad Of Joe Meek" by Sterling A Brown
When Man is the Turk, and the Atheist,
Essene, Erastian, Whig,
And the Thug and the Druse and the Catholic
And the crew of the Captain's gig.
"The Higher Unity" by Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Anamain, a sheircein, s a ruin
Is mor an gaol a thug mi dhuit,
Cuir thusa do cheann air mo ghluin,
Agus seinnidh mi ciuin duit a chruit.
Cuir thusa do, &c.
"Seann Oran Gailic" by John Douglas Sutherland Campbell
Air dhuinn bhi cuairteachadh na'n cuan
Chaidil e suain, na thruim sheamh fann,
S thug iad an claidheamh a chrios
S ghearr iad gun fhios d'dheth an ceann,
S thug iad an, &c.
"Seann Oran Gailic" by John Douglas Sutherland Campbell

In news:

In the thugged-out, hyped-up world of gangsta rap music, the ultimate compliment is that an artist "keeps it real" -- stays in touch with the struggles of the street -- even after tasting success.
In the six weeks since Trinity College student Chris Kenny was severely beaten on the edge of campus, the original premise that the attackers were thugs from the Barry Square neighborhood has faded.
The 23-year-old woman was walking on Ninth Street near Fitzwater at 4:05 am when the thug pounced, police said.
1996-CrossRoads- Bone Thugs And Harmony.
A thug followed a random man into a Queens deli, pulled out a knife, and repeatedly stabbed the man in the butt then left the scene.
Yet another great stupid thug story from the New York 'Post.'.
Old Ladies Continue Winning Streak Against Thugs.
She's on the Tehran pavement, shot by a government theological thug.
Today on the show, we were talking about convenience store owners defending themselves against would-be thieves and thugs.
Thug FindIR, specifically for law enforcement, fire investigators, security teams, military police, and border patrol.
View all Slim Thug 's Chart History.
No outrage over ` thug on thug ' shootings.
A skinny kid sticks up to a street thug just after he apparently put his hands on a woman.
Courtesy of Book Thug Nation.
In California alone there are approximately 300,000 Thugs in 2,000 gangs, and as many as 150,000 Thugs in 1,000 gangs in Los Angeles County.