(thug.AWK.ruh.see; th as in thin) n. Rule of a country or state by a group of thugs.

Example Citation:
"But can the United States in general, and the war on Osama bin Laden and the Taliban thugocracy in particular, somehow be mass-marketed to a vast and skeptical Muslim populace?"
—Tom Mashberg, "America promises to be a hard sell to many Muslims," The Boston Herald, November 11, 2001

Earliest Citation:
The cruise ship is another Pequod, or ship of fools: one of those large symbols with strings attached, by means of which the writer snarls at socialist thugocracy, the class warfare of crooks versus fools, third-world liberation movements, the United Nations and just about everything else.
—Paul Zweig, "Modest Proposals," The New York Times, June 20, 1982

The right-wing columnist George Will seems to be inordinately fond of today's word. In my research I uncovered no less than five articles in 2001 alone in which Will uses thugocracy. All told, he has inserted this charged word into over a dozen articles since 1988. (I'm prepared to forgive what may be authorial overuse because Will once said the following: "Conservatism begins when the children need orthodontistry.")

As the earliest citation shows, people have been including thugocracy as part of their name-calling duties for quite a while.

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