Meaning of GANG in English


I. gang 1 S3 /ɡæŋ/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: 'way, journey' ; the modern meaning comes from the idea of a group of people "going" together ]

1 .

a) a group of young people who spend time together, and who are often involved in crime or drugs and who often fight against other groups:

two rival street gangs

gang member/member of a gang

The parents have denied that their son is a gang member.

the problem of inner-city gang violence

a victim of gang warfare

b) a group of young people together in one place, especially young people who might cause trouble

gang of

There were always gangs of kids hanging around the mall.

2 . a group of criminals who work together:

Several gangs were operating in the area.

Armed gangs have hijacked lorries.

gang of

a gang of smugglers

3 . informal a group of friends, especially young people:

The whole gang will be there next weekend.

4 . a group of workers or prisoners doing physical work together

⇨ ↑ chain gang

• • •



▪ a criminal gang

He had links with drug smuggling and criminal gangs.

▪ an armed gang (=with guns)

An armed gang stole jewels worth more than five million pounds.

▪ a rival gang

Fighting between rival gangs left dozens of people injured.

▪ a street gang (=which spends a lot of time on the streets)

He belonged to a notorious street gang which terrorized a Chicago suburb.

▪ a teenage/youth gang

At age nine, Pedro joined one of the youth gangs in his neighborhood, just to survive.

■ gang + NOUN

▪ a gang member/a member of a gang

Gang members are thought to be responsible for up to 20% of murders in the city.

▪ a gang leader

Gang leaders used cellphones to order the attacks.

▪ gang violence

Residents say that gang violence is common.

▪ gang warfare (=fighting between gangs)

Gang warfare is wrecking the neighborhood.

▪ gang crime (=crime committed by gangs)

The initiative aims to cut gang crime in Los Angeles.

▪ gang activity

In most areas, gun crime is linked to gang activity.

■ verbs

▪ join a gang

He was only eight when he joined the gang.

▪ belong to a gang

Eleven men belonging to a local gang were arrested.

• • •


■ of people

▪ group several people together in the same place:

A group of boys stood by the school gate.


Arrange yourselves in groups of three.

▪ crowd a large group of people who have come to a place to do something:

There were crowds of shoppers in the streets.


The crowd all cheered.

▪ mob a large, noisy, and perhaps violent crowd:

An angry mob of demonstrators approached.

▪ mass a large group of people all close together in one place, so that they seem like a single thing:

The square in front of the station was a solid mass of people.

▪ bunch informal a group of people who are all similar in some way:

They’re a nice bunch of kids.

▪ gang a group of young people, especially a group that often causes trouble and fights:

He was attacked by a gang of youths.

▪ rabble a noisy group of people who are behaving badly:

He was met by a rabble of noisy angry youths.

▪ horde a very large group of people who all go somewhere:

In summer hordes of tourists flock to the island.


There were hordes of people coming out of the subway.

▪ crew a group of people who all work together, especially on a ship or plane:

the ship’s crew


The flight crew will serve drinks shortly.

▪ party a group of people who are travelling or working together:

A party of tourists stood at the entrance to the temple.

II. gang 2 BrE AmE verb

gang together phrasal verb

if people gang together, they form a group in order to do something together, especially to oppose something:

The smaller shopkeepers ganged together to beat off competition from the supermarkets.

gang up on/against somebody phrasal verb

if people gang up on someone, they join together to attack, criticize, or oppose them, especially in a way that seems unfair:

Schoolchildren are quick to gang up on anyone who looks or behaves differently.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.