gang

noun
\ ˈgaŋ How to pronounce gang (audio) \

Definition of gang

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : group: such as
a : a group of persons working to unlawful or antisocial ends especially : a band of antisocial adolescents
b : a group of persons working together
2 : a group of persons having informal and usually close social relations watching TV with the gang
3a : a set of articles : outfit a gang of oars
b : a combination of similar implements or devices arranged for convenience to act together a gang of saws
ganged; ganging; gangs

Definition of gang (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to assemble or operate simultaneously as a group
b : to arrange in or produce as a gang
2 : to attack in a gang Hoodlums ganged him and took his money.

intransitive verb

: to move or act as a gang Her opponents ganged together to oppose her nomination. — see also gang up
ganged; ganging; gangs

Definition of gang (Entry 3 of 3)

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of gang in a Sentence

Noun a gang of drug dealers He is in a gang. He was shot by a member of a rival gang. the gang at the office
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Strutting the Burberry runway today alongside big names of the moment (Kendall, Irina, Gigi, Bella—gang's all here), Deyn reminded the fashion world of her iconic status. Vogue, "Agyness Deyn Makes a Return to the Runway at Burberry," 16 Sep. 2019 Families were separated—men sent to work on road gangs, women and children to isolated ghost towns in the wilderness of British Columbia. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Hidden Japanese Settlement Found in Forests of British Columbia," 3 Sep. 2019 The whole gang — Steve, Andrea, Donna, and David — are in their usual spots with megaburgers in hand. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Every Single 'Beverly Hills, 90210’ Easter Egg Hidden in 'BH90210'," 17 Aug. 2019 Dallas police have seen a dramatic uptick in gang violence across the city, fueled in part by social media and fights over turf, drugs and guns. David Tarrant, Dallas News, "Dallas police have seized 200 guns as summer campaign aims to stem violence," 16 Aug. 2019 Winnie Harlow celebrated her 25th birthday this weekend by heading down to Miami with her girl gang. Nandi Howard, Essence, "We Want Everything Winnie Harlow Wore For Her 25th Birthday Weekend," 30 July 2019 Guzman, who headed the powerful Mexican Sinoloa drug cartel, won’t be the only drug boss at Supermax, where rival gang leaders have battled each other. Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post, "Colorado’s Supermax prison now occupied by El Chapo is “worse than death,” ex-warden said," 27 July 2019 Those friends taught her how to flash gang signs before the beating. CBS News, "3 girls charged in "sick and disgusting" attack on teen girl in Chicago," 25 July 2019 Since then, Trinity has seamlessly become one of the Riverdale gang, sharing how she and the rest of the Jones family are constantly laughing and telling stories in between takes. Stacey Grant, Seventeen, "Riverdale's Jellybean Talks On Set Pranks with Cole Sprouse and Her Memories of Luke Perry," 18 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And yet the oscillators responded differently to identical conditions, some ganging together while the rest went their own way, as if not coupled to anything at all. Natalie Wolchover, WIRED, "The Math of How Crickets, Starlings, and Neurons Sync Up," 7 Apr. 2019 And yet the oscillators responded differently to identical conditions, some ganging together while the rest went their own way, as if not coupled to anything at all. Natalie Wolchover, WIRED, "The Math of How Crickets, Starlings, and Neurons Sync Up," 7 Apr. 2019 And yet the oscillators responded differently to identical conditions, some ganging together while the rest went their own way, as if not coupled to anything at all. Natalie Wolchover, WIRED, "The Math of How Crickets, Starlings, and Neurons Sync Up," 7 Apr. 2019 And yet the oscillators responded differently to identical conditions, some ganging together while the rest went their own way, as if not coupled to anything at all. Natalie Wolchover, WIRED, "The Math of How Crickets, Starlings, and Neurons Sync Up," 7 Apr. 2019 This inexplicably trendy office design has employees ganged together in close quarters, sharing rows of desks and workstations, with no physical boundaries or privacy. Jonas Downey, Quartz at Work, "How my colleagues and I stay sane in our open office," 22 Aug. 2019 And yet the oscillators responded differently to identical conditions, some ganging together while the rest went their own way, as if not coupled to anything at all. Natalie Wolchover, WIRED, "The Math of How Crickets, Starlings, and Neurons Sync Up," 7 Apr. 2019 And yet the oscillators responded differently to identical conditions, some ganging together while the rest went their own way, as if not coupled to anything at all. Natalie Wolchover, WIRED, "The Math of How Crickets, Starlings, and Neurons Sync Up," 7 Apr. 2019 And yet the oscillators responded differently to identical conditions, some ganging together while the rest went their own way, as if not coupled to anything at all. Natalie Wolchover, WIRED, "The Math of How Crickets, Starlings, and Neurons Sync Up," 7 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gang.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of gang

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

Verb (1)

1791, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Verb (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gang

Noun

Middle English, "going, journey, road, path, privy, group of items forming a set," going back to Old English, "going, walking, journey, course, path, privy," going back to Germanic *ganga- (whence Old Saxon gang "walk, course," Old High German "walk, journey, passage," Old Norse gangr "going, course," Gothic gagg "way"), noun derivative from the base of *gangan- "to go" — more at gang entry 3

Note: The meaning "set of articles" apparently first appeared in Middle English, the now predominant meaning "group of persons" in early Modern English (hypothesized instances of this sense in Middle and Old English are dubious). A direct descendant of Old English gang in Modern English would be gong (with the effects of vowel lengthening before the cluster -ŋg- and subsequent rounding of the long vowel in monosyllables), but this survived into Modern English only in the sense "privy"—the now general form gang for other senses was borrowed into standard English from northern dialects and Scots, where rounding never occurred. Use of both the noun and verb gang in its historical senses, denoting motion or passage, is now largely limited to traditional Scots.

Verb (1)

derivative of gang entry 1

Verb (2)

Middle English gangen, gongen & early Scots gang, going back to Old English gangan, gongan, going back to Germanic *gangan- (whence Old Saxon & Old High German gangan"to go," Old Norse ganga, Gothic gaggan), probably going back to Indo-European *ǵhenǵh-i̯̯e-, whence also Lithuanian žeñgti "to stride"

Note: Old English gangan, a Class VII strong verb, was used more or less as a synonym of gān, the ancestor of Modern English go entry 1 (itself descended from Germanic *gēn-), though forms other than the present tense and infinitive rarely occur. In other Germanic languages cognates of gangan served and still serve as suppletive forms of the parallel cognates of gān. Compare note at gang entry 1.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gang

Statistics for gang

Last Updated

5 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for gang

The first known use of gang was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gang

gang

noun
How to pronounce gang (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gang

: a group of criminals
: a group of young people who do illegal things together and who often fight against other gangs
informal : a group of people who are friends and who do things together

gang

noun
\ ˈgaŋ How to pronounce gang (audio) \

Kids Definition of gang

1 : a group of people working or going about together
2 : a group of people acting together to do something illegal a gang of thieves
3 : a group of friends I invited the gang over.

gang

noun

Legal Definition of gang

: a group of persons associating for antisocial and often criminal purposes and activities

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on gang

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gang

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gang

Spanish Central: Translation of gang

Nglish: Translation of gang for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gang for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gang

Comments on gang

What made you want to look up gang? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

something of little or no value

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!