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Negative ConnotationPlay
The word 'thug' generally implies bad behavior and is not a compliment. SlideHe was feared by all for being a notorious thug.
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Media InfluencePlay
'Thug' is often used in news and media to describe criminals or violent protestors. SlideThe protest turned violent when thugs started looting shops.
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Colloquial UsagePlay
Used informally, 'thug' can describe someone who is tough or rough around the edges. SlideDespite his thug appearance, he was quite gentle.