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From Portuguese arrastão (dragnet), from arrastar (to trawl; to drag).


arrastão (plural arrastões)

  1. A form of crime, occurring in Brazil and Portugal, in which a group of criminals surround a location (usually a beach or tunnel) and steal every object in it.
    • 2000, Shoshanna Kira Lurie, Funk and hip-hop transculture in the "divided" Brazilian city, Stanford University, page page 146:
      Banck (1994: 54) argues that the arrastão, then, cannot be explained only as a survival strategy of the destitute []
    • 2004, George Yúdice, The Expediency of Culture: Uses of Culture in the Global Era, Duke University Press, 122:
      In the wake of the arrastão, for example, many middle-class people called for the elimination of the bus service from the Zona Norte to the Zona Sul.
    • 2006, Enrique Desmond Arias, Drugs And Democracy in Rio De Janeiro: Trafficking, Social Networks, And Public Security, University of North Carolina Press, page 141:
      At the time of the killings, Rio teemed with concern about burgeoning social violence as a result of the murder of eight street children outside the Candelária church at the hands of police, a spate of kidnappings, and a series of arrastões (mass muggings) on city beaches.
    • George Yúdice, Culture Based Urban Development in 2009, Rebecca E. Biron, The Urban Scene in Latin America, Duke University Press, pages 222–223:
      In the final months of 1992 and again in the winter of 1993, youths from the outlying favelas launched a series of arrastões (looting rampages) that was opportunistically overdramatized by the media, []
    • 2012, Celia de Anca, Beyond Tribalism: Managing Identities in a Diverse World, Palgrave Macmillan, page 54:
      She finally was looking at the future with a little optimism until that day of May 2001 when the arrastão ended up with most of the merchandise she had managed to acquire.
    • 2012, Cheryl Sterling, African Roots, Brazilian Rites: Cultural and National Identity in Brazil, Palgrave Macmillan, page 184:
      Several arrastões, characterized as “looting rampages,” on the beach in Zona Sul in Rio sparked retaliatory killings of favela residents by the police.



Etymology 1Edit

Arrastar (to trawl; to drag) +‎ -ão, from rasto (dragnet).



arrastão f (plural arrastões)

  1. trawling (fishing technique in which a net is dragged)
  2. trawler (fishing boat that uses a trawl net or dragnet)
  3. dragnet (net dragged across the bottom of a body of water)
  4. the act of violently dragging something
  5. arrastão (form of crime in which criminals surround a location)
Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit



  1. Obsolete spelling of arrastam