Main definitions of gang in English

: gang1gang2

gang1

noun

  • 1An organized group of criminals.

    ‘a gang of bank robbers’
    as modifier ‘gang warfare’
    • ‘Authorities believe criminal gangs and paramilitary organisations are making hundreds of millions of euro every year from a range of criminal activity.’
    • ‘Criminal gangs use the information you enter to empty your bank account or spend on your credit card.’
    • ‘That clearly demonstrates to me that there is scope for changing the legislation and looking at civil forfeiture as a way of bringing more assets in from organised criminal gangs.’
    • ‘After becoming an expert pickpocket he organizes a gang of thieves, whose goods he receives and sells at huge profit to himself.’
    • ‘Former military figures have been implicated in drug trafficking and kidnappings by organized criminal gangs.’
    • ‘Credit and debit card fraud has increased by 53% during the past two years, with organised criminal gangs being blamed for the rise.’
    • ‘Many of the ingredients of the original are present and correct: a gang of cool criminals; a daring bullion heist; and a sleek fleet of Minis as getaway cars.’
    • ‘The documents contained sensitive information on informants, north west criminal gangs and even bank accounts detailing payments for information.’
    • ‘In an attempt to come up with the cash, they formulate a plan to rob a ragtag gang of criminals who are planning a heist.’
    • ‘The more established parts of organised criminal gangs seek to make investments in the ‘legitimate’ economy, by buying companies or real estate.’
    • ‘She added that most vulnerable residents of the city have become the prey of organised and powerful criminal gangs.’
    • ‘That is why Labour is going to introduce ID cards to boost our efforts in tackling the organised criminal gangs who traffic illegal immigrants, drugs and money into our communities.’
    • ‘The police will be taking a hard look at organised criminal gangs operating in the city.’
    • ‘We have been very weak in how we deal with gangs and criminal organisations in this country.’
    • ‘The problem, he said, is a Europe-wide one, with organised criminal gangs stealing up to £10 billion worth of goods each year.’
    • ‘Organised criminal gangs, using highly sophisticated techniques, are often behind them.’
    • ‘Basingstoke police are hunting a gang of criminals believed to be behind a string of burglaries where elderly people's homes have been targeted.’
    • ‘They are often suspected of being criminals from organized gangs.’
    • ‘Organised criminal gangs using JCBs are raiding Scotland's wild plants, making tens of thousands of pounds a time.’
    • ‘In its most dangerous form, it can include the organized activities of predator gangs, criminal groups, and drug trafficking networks.’
    1. 1.1 A group of young people involved in petty crime or violence.
      ‘three men were attacked by a gang of youths’
      ‘a street gang’
      • ‘However, some of our more solvable problems such as street crime and youth gangs who prey on innocents in broad daylight can be eradicated in short order.’
      • ‘A 15-year-old girl was hit in the face with a metal bar in an attack involving a gang of eight youths in Worcester Park.’
      • ‘A community organisation might find a new way of working with young people to break down gangs and gang violence.’
      • ‘One resident, who did not want to be named, said that in recent weeks his car had been attacked and damaged by gangs of youths and windows on his street had been smashed.’
      • ‘As a teenager growing up in New York, he had become involved with street gangs and used drug dealing as a means of funding his own heroin addiction.’
      • ‘Volunteer pensioners are reviewing security after coming under attack from gangs of youths during a charity street procession.’
      • ‘He said it was a particularly ‘nasty’ crime in which a gang of youths had preyed on an elderly man living on his own.’
      • ‘Born 50 years ago in Glasgow's east end, by the age of 14 he was caught up in the world of razor gangs and petty crime.’
      • ‘Years later he returns to London and organizes a group of street urchins into a petty crime gang which he joins.’
      • ‘By having more programs, you might see a reduction in the dangers facing youth today like street gangs.’
      • ‘It's a rough neighborhood - crime is rampant, gangs of juvenile delinquents roam the streets, and the police are afraid to patrol the area.’
      • ‘Their father spent 10 years in prison and the two boys became involved with the street gangs scene of the 1960s.’
      • ‘The streets are awash with gangs of youths and people who look like they have not bathed in weeks.’
      • ‘A couple have vowed not to be pushed out of their own street by gangs of youths they say have made their lives a misery for years.’
      • ‘Police were called out to deal with two more incidents involving gangs of youths gathering in Etty Avenue, Tang Hall, York, last night.’
      • ‘Stores with extensive ground-level car parking, which suffer car crime and loitering gangs of youths, are considering security patrols.’
      • ‘His initiative is one of several trying to keep youth from street gangs.’
      • ‘Crime by gangs of unemployed youth has been increasing in the Tari area.’
      • ‘A secret surveillance operation has exposed a catalogue of crime as gangs of youths run amok on the streets of a troubled York estate.’
      • ‘His mother believed he may have been targeted because he was carrying skates - and was concerned about the growing violence involving young gangs in the city.’
    2. 1.2informal A group of people, especially young people, who regularly associate together.
      • ‘The next day, the gang got together at the mall like we always did.’
      • ‘Suddenly it's next December 31, and the gang's all together again to ring in another year.’
      • ‘He was worried about the availability of toilet facilities and electricity for the gang.’
      • ‘Soon enough, the gang is all together and they're playing a game of high stakes poker.’
      • ‘That night the whole gang got together to celebrate the beginning of a new family.’
      • ‘Let's get the rest of the gang together and hang out at the canteen.’
      • ‘Pulling out of Queen's Park, heading towards Maida Vale through the smart terraces, it was all very nice, until at the Harrow Road a big gang of bus enthusiasts came on.’
      • ‘It was going to be the first time the gang had all been together since the last day of school.’
      • ‘He goes from James Brown to Philip Glass In The Commitments, I decided I wanted to bring a gang of young people together.’
      band, group, crowd, pack, horde, throng, mob, herd, swarm, multitude, mass, body, troop, drove, cluster
      circle, social circle, social set, group of friends, clique, in-crowd, coterie, lot, ring, clan, club, league, faction, cabal
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 An organized group of people doing manual work.
      ‘a government road gang’
      • ‘This shopkeeper takes me to see a former government official who was tasked with beating tribals used for road gangs in the Karen state, in far eastern Burma.’
      • ‘The planners and tunnel gangs had done their job with impressive skill.’
      • ‘He had the pleasure of working with rail gangs under the supervision of three locals, all now long retired.’
      • ‘Despite the proven utility of convict road gangs for construction work, the postwar trend was definitely headed in the direction of maintenance work.’
      • ‘He seems to have worked on road gangs for a time and in a shoe repair factory before rheumatism forced him to quit.’
      • ‘The prison warden declared that he was a ‘trusty’ and had served on the road gang without trouble.’
      • ‘At the age of 11, he paid the taxes on that farm by working on the county road gang.’
      • ‘For the next six months he and a gang of voluntary workers worked night after night to transform the vacant site into the first Celtic Park.’
      • ‘Prior to 1927, when county convict road gangs were sometimes used by the SHC, there is no explicit mention of the race of convict laborers.’
      • ‘African male slaves described as being from the same ‘nation’ in Africa often labored together in work gangs.’
      • ‘The road gang's contract was abruptly cancelled as Arthur's Pass became the preferred route through to the coast.’
      • ‘The number of convicts used in road gangs in Alabama increased rapidly in the late 1940s as demobilization increased the population of young men.’
      • ‘After a spell on the road gangs, some thirty more were sent for several years to the coal mines at Newcastle, reopened for them.’
      • ‘Some were lynched and many others brought before the courts where they were convicted and sentenced to long terms working on county chain and highway gangs.’
      • ‘Several years later the state attempted to make the road gangs all black again.’
      • ‘By the 1960s SHD enthusiasm for using convict road gangs was apparently in decline as the system dwindled away to a remnant.’
      • ‘Trading standards officials in North Yorkshire are warning householders about teams of itinerant asphalt-laying gangs operating in the county.’
      • ‘Men worked on road gangs, though before long labour shortages led Ottawa to encourage them to move eastwards to Central Canadian manufacturing plants.’
      • ‘The reappearance of road gangs in Alabama revived painful images of the state and the South as a backward and racist region.’
      • ‘The majority of the county convicts placed in state custody were put to work on prison farms rather than on road gangs.’
      squad, team, troop, shift, detachment, posse, troupe
      View synonyms
  • 2A set of switches, sockets, or other electrical or mechanical devices grouped together.

    ‘the machine had a gang of cutter chains on a swivelling head’
    as modifier, in combination ‘a three-gang switch’
    • ‘I've currently got a three gang switch which I'm taking one light off of and moving to a separate switch.’

verb

  • 1gang upno object (of a number of people) form a group or gang.

    ‘three banks ganged together to form a ‘virtual bank’’
    • ‘It seems no coincidence that every election year a few politicians gang together for some legislative bashing.’
    • ‘They will gang together, move into an area and have a lot of muscle with the landlords.’
    • ‘While other children that were experimented on liked to gang together and try to keep each other's spirits up, he would always stay separate.’
    • ‘Of course, the statistics of that division are shocking, and of course the rich countries gang together in the G8 to make sure the division continues.’
    • ‘It was the first time such a large group of WTO member states had ganged together to ask for the suspension of concessions, he noted, though he expressed regret at being obliged to take such an action.’
    • ‘One could go one step further and encourage people to gang together and click on certain ads in the manner of an ad busting flashmob.’
    • ‘On the Downbelows' debut, Toronto punk vets (ex-members of Trigger Happy, Tirekickers, et al.) gang together for an ode to their favourite rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood.’
    • ‘There is this feature, your Honours, that was identified by Chief Justice Gleeson and Justice Gummow in Gilbert's Case, that you have here a case where prisoners are accused of ganging together to kill another prisoner.’
    1. 1.1gang up Join together in order to intimidate or oppose someone.
      ‘they ganged up on me and nicked my pocket money’
      • ‘Perhaps all of the above came together in a conspiracy to gang up on her vulnerable and elusive self-esteem.’
      • ‘I would like to join Tim in ganging up on him over this post of his today.’
      • ‘My new best friend and I have decided that as we are now joined in peaceful harmony, we'll put our combined forces together, and gang up on him.’
      • ‘‘As someone from Swindon I have got concerns because I think we will see the rural areas ganging up on the urban areas,’ he said.’
      • ‘When they collapsed in heaps, you felt that the fates were ganging up on this team; with him, it felt as if they were positively mocking England.’
      • ‘The Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times all ganged up on him and forced his Mercury Times editor to withdraw support for the series in a front-page editorial.’
      • ‘In the European experience, complaints frequently stem from employees ganging up against another employee.’
      • ‘As the French Open gathers its forces for the second week, the top women are ganging up on poor little Serena.’
      • ‘I hate them when they're together; they always gang up on me.’
      • ‘If possible, people working together will always attempt to gang up on single antagonists one at a time.’
      conspire, cooperate, work together, act together, combine, join up, join forces, team up, club together, get together, unite, ally
      View synonyms
  • 2with object Arrange (electrical devices or machines) together to work in coordination.

    ‘adjacent faders can be ganged for common manipulation’
    • ‘Multiple lane approaches, each running at slower speeds like 10G XAUI, ganged together to provide high overall speed, were not considered due to their inherent cost and complexity burden to the disk drive.’
    • ‘PCI Express lanes can be effectively ganged together.’
    • ‘The sixteen pixel shader units are ganged together into four groups of four, and memory accesses are carried out on 2x2 tiles of pixels for the sake of transactional and bandwidth efficiency.’
    • ‘As mentioned earlier, ganging storage devices together as a striped storage pool can greatly enhance performance.’
    • ‘In applications requiring all live current - carrying wires to be positively opened from the source voltage when a fault occurs, fuses cannot be ganged together to assure that all lines will be opened in the event of an overload or fault.’
    • ‘If you need to go further, switch to higher-gain antennas or gang two WRT54Gs together.’
    • ‘By the way, faders can be ganged together as a mix group for simultaneous operation, including the recording of simultaneous automation curves.’

Origin

Old English, from Old Norse gangr, ganga ‘gait, course, going’, of Germanic origin; related to gang. The original meaning was ‘going, a journey’, later in Middle English ‘a way’, also ‘set of things or people which go together’.

Pronunciation

gang

/ɡaŋ/

Main definitions of gang in English

: gang1gang2

gang2

verb

[NO OBJECT]Scottish
  • Go; proceed.

    ‘gang to your bed, lass’
    • ‘'I'll be gettin' a bit leave afore we gang to the Front,' said Macgregor, as though the months of training were already nearing an end.’
    • ‘We gang at three and four in the morning, and return at four and five at night.’

Phrases

  • gang agley

    • (of a plan) go wrong.

      • ‘Sometimes we fail simply because we are poor, dumb, fallible, feckless human beings whose best-laid schemes gang aft agley.’
      • ‘But that wrecked show-trial wasn't the only media scheme that ganged agley in November 2005.’
      • ‘The best laid plans, I discovered, can indeed gang agley, as swiftly as a mouse's existence is ended by a harvester.’
      • ‘I should have expected that plan to gang agley.’
      • ‘The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley.’

Origin

Old English gangan, of Germanic origin; related to go.

Pronunciation

gang

/ɡaŋ/