[hood-luhm, hood-]
a thug or gangster.
a young street ruffian, especially one belonging to a gang.

1870–75, Americanism; probably < dialectal German; compare Swabian derivatives of Hudel rag, e.g. hudelum disorderly, hudellam weak, slack Hudellump(e) rags, slovenly, careless person, and related words in other dialects

hoodlumish, adjective
hoodlumism, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hoodlum (ˈhuːdləm)
1.  a petty gangster or ruffian
2.  a lawless youth
[C19: perhaps from Southern German dialect Haderlump ragged good-for-nothing]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1871, Amer.Eng. (first in ref. to San Francisco) "young street rowdy, loafer," later (1877) "young criminal, gangster," of unknown origin, though newspapers have printed myriad stories concocted to account for it. A guess perhaps better than average is that it is from Ger. dial. (Bavarian) Huddellump
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Nor small time hoodlums guns, if they don't have connections with a larger cartel.
They seem to believe that the little hoodlums will turn on them, and they may be right.
The hoodlums threatened to burn down the house if she reported the incident to the police, so she refrained.
Gangs of hoodlums became more powerful as they trafficked in alcohol.
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