Meaning of GROUP in English

I. group 1 S1 W1 /ɡruːp/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1600-1700 ; Language: French ; Origin: groupe , from Italian gruppo ]

1 . [ also + plural verb British English ] several people or things that are all together in the same place

group of

a group of children

a small group of islands

Get into groups of four.

He was surrounded by a group of admirers.

in groups

Dolphins travel in small groups.

A group of us are going to London.

2 . several people or things that are connected with each other:

a left-wing terrorist group

group of

She is one of a group of women who have suffered severe side-effects from the drug.

age/ethnic/income etc group (=people of the same age, race etc)

Minority groups are encouraged to apply.

3 . several companies that all have the same owner ⇨ chain :

a giant textiles group

group of

He owns a group of hotels in southern England.

4 . a number of musicians or singers who perform together, playing popular music SYN band

⇨ ↑ blood group , ↑ focus group , ↑ interest group , ↑ playgroup , ↑ pressure group , ↑ working group

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meanings 1 & 2)

■ phrases

▪ a member of a group/a group member

Frank was invited to be a member of the group.

▪ a group of three, four, five etc

There was a group of three at the bar, two men and a woman.


▪ an age group

Older people are being affected by the economic downturn more than other age groups.

▪ an ethnic group (=one whose members belong to a particular race or nation)

The university welcomes enquiries and applications from all ethnic groups.

▪ a minority group (=one whose members belong to a different race, religion etc from most other people in a country)

Conditions for many minority groups have worsened.

▪ a racial group

Schools should not stereotype pupils from certain racial groups as troublemakers.

▪ a social group (=a group of people from a particular class in society)

Lower social groups had a higher average family size.

▪ an income group

The budget will affect people differently, according to their income group.

▪ sb’s peer group (=people of the same age, social group etc)

Many girls at school derive enormous strength from their peer groups.

▪ a pressure group (=one that tries to make the government do something)

Friends of the Earth is Britain’s leading environmental pressure group.

▪ a protest group

They formed a protest group and a petition of 50,000 signatures was presented at the town hall.

▪ a splinter group (=that has separated from another political or religious group)

A Social Democratic Party ( SDP), formed as a splinter group of the Socialist Party of Serbia.

▪ a close-knit/closely-knit/tightly-knit group (=in which everyone knows each other well and gives each other support)

The young mothers in the village are a fairly close-knit group.

▪ a support group (=a group that meets in order to help the people in it deal with a difficult time)

She set up a support group for people suffering from the same illness.

▪ a control group (=a group used in an experiment or survey to compare its results with those of another group)

A control group had to be examined as well as the group that we are studying.

■ group + NOUN

▪ a group decision

Being involved in a group decision can help motivate workers.

▪ a group discussion

The course includes both individual work and group discussions.

▪ a group leader

There were three groups of eight people, each with a group leader.

■ verbs

▪ belong to a group

Ben belonged to an environmental group.

▪ get into groups

The teacher asked the students to get into groups.

▪ organize something into groups

Small children work best when they are organized into very small groups.

▪ join a group

He joined a self-help group for divorced men.

▪ leave a group

Rebecca left the group following a disagreement.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 4)

■ NOUN + group

▪ a pop/rock/jazz group

They’re one of the most exciting pop groups around at the moment.

■ phrases

▪ a member of a group

Jeremy was a member of a heavy metal group.

▪ be in a group

She's in a jazz group, playing the saxophone.

■ verbs

▪ start a group

Ben and some friends started a rock group at school.

▪ found a group formal (=start a group)

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards founded the group in the early Sixties.

▪ a group splits up (=the members decide not to play together anymore)

The group split up because of ‘musical differences’.

▪ a group re-forms (=the members decide to play together again)

The group has re-formed and is planning a series of comeback concerts.

• • •


■ 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.

■ of animals

▪ herd a group of cows, deer, or elephants:

A herd of cows was blocking the road.

▪ team a group of people who work together:

She is being cared for by a team of doctors.

▪ flock a group of sheep or birds:

a flock of seagulls


The farmer has over 100 sheep in his flock.

▪ pack a group of dogs or wolves:

Some dogs are bred to work in packs.

▪ litter a group of kittens or puppies born at one time to a particular mother:

He was one of a litter of seven puppies.

▪ school/shoal a group of fish or dolphins:

Piranha fish live in shoals in the wild.

■ of things

▪ bunch a group of things held or tied together, especially flowers or keys:

He handed me a bunch of daffodils.

▪ bundle several papers, clothes, or sticks held or tied together in an untidy pile:

Bundles of papers and files filled the shelves.

▪ cluster a group of things of the same kind that are close together in a place:

a cluster of stars


Our road ended at a cluster of cottages.

II. group 2 BrE AmE verb

1 . [intransitive and transitive] to come together and form a group, or to arrange things or people together in a group

group (something) together/round/into etc

The photo shows four men grouped round a jeep.

Different flowers can be grouped together to make a colourful display.

small producers who group together to sell their produce

2 . [transitive always + adverb/preposition] to divide people or things into groups according to a system:

We were grouped into six age bands.

We’ve grouped the questions under three headings.

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