Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Slang A gangster or ruffian.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Very ugly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A city ruffian; one of a band of rowdies who indulged in wanton assaults upon persons and property in streets and public places: first used in Baltimore.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. someone who bullies weaker people

Etymologies

From the Plug Uglies, a gang active in several East Coast cities in the 1850s.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • "A prizefighter, a hoodlum, a plug-ugly," Sarah sneered, after she had exhausted herself of all calamitous forecasts of her own future and the future of her children in the absence of Saxon's weekly four dollars and a half.

    CHAPTER XIV

  • He'll kill somebody yet, that plug-ugly of yourn, an 'be hanged for it.

    CHAPTER XIV

  • And what a smart idea to ignore the question and hand out the prepared plug-ugly party slur stuff - the great clunking fist - the subtle Brown touch that gets the likes of you fawning and crooning.

    Tony Blair: The Next Labour Prime Minister?

  • The result is the oddly touching Cyrus, starring plug-ugly character actor John C Reilly as a sad, long-divorced, freelance book editor.

    Cyrus

  • Danny Trejo, the plug-ugly character actor and former criminal, plays a Mexican cop too honest for the federales, who escapes into Texas and is drawn into a conflict between on one side Hispanics and illegal immigrants and on the other rightwing racist vigilantes.

    Machete – review

  • A plug-ugly if ever I saw one and I've seen my share.

    Nutrition

  • Finally, it may not matter: Darren Rowse has a plug-ugly blog.

    Should You Tell People Their Blog Design is Ugly?

  • Yes, I know it's hard to make a case for preserving a plug-ugly home just because a photo of it graced the cover of the Carpenters 1973 album "Now & Then", or even because it's the place where pop icon Karen Carpenter collapsed shortly before dying of anorexia-related heart disease but still ....

    Helaine Olen: It's Yesterday No More

  • I found this assessment bang-on, though; the cover's plug-ugly; and, I immediately thought of Art Durkee's spine-tingling revelations in a discussion here earlier this year on cover design and thought cue twilight-zone tones, the universe is serendipitously serenading some one or who.

    Something I missed ...

  • Good Housekeeping OK -- We admit that clumsy, plug-ugly kitchen gadgetry doesn't even rank among the top 100 problems of the human race.

    Design Literacy: A Primer

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