Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[gang] /gæŋ/
a group or band:
A gang of boys gathered around the winning pitcher.
a group of youngsters or adolescents who associate closely, often exclusively, for social reasons, especially such a group engaging in delinquent behavior.
a group of people with compatible tastes or mutual interests who gather together for social reasons:
I'm throwing a party for the gang I bowl with.
a group of persons working together; squad; shift:
a gang of laborers.
a group of persons associated for some criminal or other antisocial purpose:
a gang of thieves.
a set of tools, electronic components or circuits, oars, etc., arranged to work together or simultaneously.
a group of identical or related items.
verb (used with object)
to arrange in groups or sets; form into a gang:
to gang illustrations for more economical printing on one sheet.
to attack in a gang.
verb (used without object)
to form or act as a gang:
Cutthroats who gang together hang together.
Verb phrases
gang up on, Informal. (of a number of persons) to unite in opposition to (a person); combine against:
The bigger boys ganged up on the smaller ones in the schoolyard.
Origin of gang1
1300-50; Middle English; Old English gang, gong manner of going, way, passage; cognate with Old High German gang, Old Norse gangr, Gothic gagg; cf. gang2
1. company, crowd, crew; party, set, clique, coterie. 4. team.


[gang] /gæŋ/
verb (used without object), Chiefly Scot. and North England
to walk or go.
before 900; Middle English gangen, Old English gangan, gongan; cognate with Old High German gangan, Old Norse ganga, Gothic gaggan; cf. gang1, noun derivative from same base Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for gang
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There were three in the gang and they got him and the radio paper which was stolen from our file.

  • But no doubt the gang had thought caution to be the better part of hate.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • Yell hae to gang ben, gudeman, said she, and speak to Watty.

    The Entail John Galt
  • Then, when you get in with the right people, you will open the front door some night and let in the gang.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Another is stolen, and the gang is ready for business again.

    How the Other Half Lives Jacob A. Riis
British Dictionary definitions for gang


a group of people who associate together or act as an organized body, esp for criminal or illegal purposes
an organized group of workmen
a herd of buffaloes or elks or a pack of wild dogs
(NZ) a group of shearers who travel to different shearing sheds, shearing, classing, and baling wool
  1. a series of similar tools arranged to work simultaneously in parallel
  2. (as modifier): a gang saw
to form into, become part of, or act as a gang
(transitive) (electronics) to mount (two or more components, such as variable capacitors) on the same shaft, permitting adjustment by a single control
See also gang up
Derived Forms
ganged, adjective
Word Origin
Old English gang journey; related to Old Norse gangr, Old High German gang, Sanskrit jangha foot


(Scot) to go
Word Origin
Old English gangan to go1


a variant spelling of gangue
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for gang

from Old English gang "a going, journey, way, passage," and Old Norse gangr "a group of men, a set," both from Proto-Germanic *gangaz (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Danish, Dutch, Old High German, German gang, Old Norse gangr, Gothic gagg "act of going"), from PIE root *ghengh- "to step" (cf. Sanskrit jangha "shank," Avestan zanga- "ankle," Lithuanian zengiu "I stride"). Thus not considered to be related to go.

The sense evolution is probably via meaning "a set of articles that usually are taken together in going" (mid-14c.), especially a set of tools used on the same job. By 1620s this had been extended in nautical speech to mean "a company of workmen," and by 1630s the word was being used, with disapproving overtones, for "any band of persons traveling together." Gangway preserves the original sense of the word, as does gangplank.


1856, from gang (n.). Related: Ganged; ganging. To gang up (on) is first attested 1919.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for gang


Related Terms

black gang

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with gang


In addition to the idiom beginning with gang also see: like gangbusters
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for gang

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for gang

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for gang