hood (2)

This page is about the slang term hood (2)

American English


a criminal, a member of a criminal gang

For example

  • She loves watching those old black and white movies from the 40's and 50's full of cops and private eyes and gangsters and hoods.

  • Sometimes movie directors would employ real-life hoods to play bit parts in their gangster films.

This is fairly dated slang now, but it was very popular from the 30's to the 60's. A hood was often regarded as of lower status than a gangster. While a hood would probably wear street clothes, a gangster would probably wear a suit and tie.

Origin: short for "hoodlum"; first appeared in American English in the 1930's


This is typically used in American English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz

Jimmy says his grandpa was a hood back in the 40's and 50's. He'd tell Jimmy stories about his life as

a. a popular entertainer

b. a small-time criminal

c. a baseball player

Slang of the Day

Contributor: Matt Errey