A mugging is urban American slang for a robbery on the street or in a similarly public place. Usually, the assailant is armed with a knife or gun, and threatens the victim with harm if they don't surrender their valuables. I don't know the etymology of the word. Anyone?

In theatre: slang for making faces instead of reacting truthfully.

Often used to punctuate a comedic routine, to signal the audience that it is time to laugh and that the performer is aware that he or she has just done something intended to be funny. Mugging can be a useful tool for a circus clown (especially a silent one) playing to a large audience (who may be sitting so far from the action that they cannot see deadpan reactions). However, in other forms of performing, such as drama, sketch comedy, and situation comedy, mugging breaks the fourth wall and in doing so, negates the "reality" of the scene.

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