Definitions
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noun 
  1. A criminal who treats others violently and roughly, especially for hire
  2. One of a band of assassins formerly active in northern India who worshiped w:Kali, Kali and offered their victims to her
Etymology: (Hind.) (term, thuggee) (or (term, tuggee), ààààà) < w:Marathi, Marathi (term, thag), (term, thak) "thief, swindler" < (Skr.) (term, sthaga) "cunning, fraudulent" < (term, sthagayati) or (term, sthagati) "to cover, conceal" < (PIE.) (s)teg- "cover". 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 w:British_Raj, 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.


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