gang

1 of 3

noun

plural gangs
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
3
a
: 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

gang

2 of 3

verb (1)

ganged; ganging; gangs

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

1
: to attack (a person) as a gang
They ganged him and took his money.
2
a
: to assemble (mechanical or electronic parts) so that they may be operated simultaneously as a group
Potentiometers are often ganged together so that the resistance in several circuits can be changed simultaneously.Richard Fowler
b
: to arrange or produce (something, such as pages of typeset material) together as a unit
ganged the printing of 2000 cards to achieve a cost-efficient price per card of 38 cents.Vilma Barr
often used with up
Where decals are large they may be printed singly; where small, more than one may be ganged up on one screen to save effort and to produce more copies in one impression.Albert Kosloff

gang

3 of 3

verb (2)

ganged; ganging; gangs

intransitive verb

Scotland
: go

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Did a ransomware gang mess up by attacking a U.S. arm of China’s biggest bank? Leo Sands, Washington Post, 20 Feb. 2024 Political parties maintain their own militias or keep ties to gangs of young men who, come election time, intimidate and attack opponents and voters. Michael Wahman, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 Here was what appeared to be a rip crew, a local gang that stalked smuggling trails and stole from migrants or guides. Eli Saslow Erin Schaff, New York Times, 18 Feb. 2024 No one would celebrate an epidemic of cannibalistic zombies or the takeover of Montreal by a gang of nymphomaniacs. Becca Rothfeld, The New Yorker, 17 Feb. 2024 The film centers on a family fighting for survival after being kidnapped by a gang of outlaws. Keith Langston, Peoplemag, 16 Feb. 2024 Earlier this week, Fontaine Medical Center, a hospital in the Cité Soleil shantytown in the capital, was caught once more in the middle of an exchange of gunfire between clashing gangs, prompting the facility to evacuate patients and staff. Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, 15 Feb. 2024 Before the gangs and the violence, these men recall how united their community once was. Whitney Eulich, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 Feb. 2024 Each knows first-hand of the lives destroyed and crime caused by drugs like methamphetamine and fentanyl that fuel addiction and fund the gangs at war in their communities. Lou Fancher, The Mercury News, 14 Feb. 2024
Verb
Barbaro, who has modeled phenomena ranging from fish migrations to gang territorial disputes, says the Pamplona data could help calibrate models for stressed crowds to aid architectural design and evacuation planning. Jack Tamisiea, Scientific American, 23 Feb. 2022 Above all, the event serves as a venue for face-to-face connections among collectors – a place to gang together for wrist shots – that will be extra intense this year due to pent up desire after missing a year because of Covid. Carol Besler, Forbes, 21 Oct. 2021 For Nirbhaya's mother, justice is death for the men who gang raped her daughter. Vedika Sud, CNN, 19 Mar. 2020 Jang features in the names of many quintessential Korean ingredients, such as ganging (soy sauce), gochujang (chili paste) and doenjang (soybean paste). Katie Workman, NBC News, 8 Mar. 2020 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, 7 Apr. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gang.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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.

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near gang

Cite this Entry

“Gang.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gang. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

gang

1 of 2 noun
1
: two or more tools or devices arranged to work together
2
: a group of persons working or going about together
3
: a group of persons associated together to do something illegal
4
: a group of friends

gang

2 of 2 verb
: to form into or move or act as a gang

Legal Definition

gang

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

More from Merriam-Webster on gang

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