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mug1 / məg/ • n. 1. a large cup, typically cylindrical and with a handle and used without a saucer. ∎  the contents of such a cup: a large mug of tea vanished in a single gulp. 2. inf. a person's face. 3. inf. a hoodlum or thug. 4. Brit., inf. a stupid or gullible person. • v. (mugged , mug·ging ) inf. 1. [tr.] (often be mugged) attack and rob (someone) in a public place: he was mugged by three men who stole his bike | [as n.] (mugging) a brutal mugging. ∎ dated fight or hit (someone). 2. [intr.] make faces, esp. silly or exaggerated ones, before an audience or a camera: he mugged for the camera. PHRASES: a mug's game inf. an activity in which it is foolish to engage because it is likely to be unsuccessful or dangerous: playing with drugs is a mug's game.DERIVATIVES: mug·ful / ˈməgˌfoŏl/ n. (pl. -fuls) . mug2 • v. (mugged , mug·ging ) [tr.] (mug something up) Brit., inf. learn or review a subject as much as possible in a short time; cram: I'm constantly having to mug up things ahead of teaching them | [intr.] we had mugged up on all things Venetian before the start of the course.