Definition of mob in English:



  • 1A large crowd of people, especially one that is disorderly and intent on causing trouble or violence.

    ‘a mob of protesters’
    • ‘They stood like a unmoving mob, crowded together, trying to get a better view of him.’
    • ‘Quickly, a crowd gathered and that crowd escalated into a mob even faster.’
    • ‘I feared trouble because the mob was growing restless and violent.’
    • ‘The three of us tried to act as peacemakers in an unseemly mob and for our troubles we got blackballed from every pub and club in the city centre.’
    • ‘Authorities clamped down on new curfews and brought in the army to quell the violence, but angry mobs have been turning on those trying to keep the peace.’
    • ‘Instead, a voice-over quoting from telegraph reports briefly mentions some of the mob's racist violence.’
    • ‘Yet the historian does not feel provoked enough to indict him for failing to understand what forces the destructive potential of mobs and crowds.’
    • ‘White mob violence against blacks was a deliberate tool used to maintain white supremacy, not to punish crime.’
    • ‘Before anybody gets too sentimental about the blessings of music, however, Brown points out that music can also transform crowds into a dangerous mob.’
    • ‘Instantly the crowd became a mob, screaming, cowering.’
    • ‘‘We used rubber bullets to disperse the mob during a series of violent demonstrations,’ he said.’
    • ‘He is proof that violence is needed to contain violence and that one just man will prevail over the corrupt mob and timorous crowd.’
    • ‘The Police have even been forced to use a megaphone to ask the mobs to disperse.’
    • ‘Just then a mob of Bolsheviks crowded into the room.’
    • ‘Mary Beth shouted as a mob of girls crowded around Luke.’
    • ‘And tension remains high as many government offices and political party offices are either closed or have been seized by mobs since the violence erupted Monday.’
    • ‘This capability will provide a means to capture specified individuals, such as those inciting a mob to violence or enemy combatants we seek to take prisoner.’
    • ‘Crowds and mobs are not completely irrational, but they have their own logic.’
    • ‘Second, it shows not a small mob but a huge crowd.’
    crowd, horde, multitude, rabble, mass, body, throng
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1British informal A group of people in the same place or with something in common.
      ‘he stood out from the rest of the mob with his silver hair and stacked shoes’
      • ‘He is a fine batsman but it is his gift for words that distinguishes him from the rest of the mob who play cricket and then write about it.’
      • ‘She may have been the closest we have to an honest politician at the moment but that's by comparison with the rest of the mob and I'm not entirely convinced by her protestations.’
      group, set, crowd, lot, circle, coterie, in-crowd, clan, faction, pack, band, ring, fraternity, brotherhood, society, troop, company, team
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Australian An Aboriginal extended family or community.
      ‘my mob travelled and traded with other people’
      ‘the local mob called this spot Gimba, which means good pastures’
      • ‘The book tells, both explicitly and implicitly, of her development as an anthropologist, and her relations with the 'Bulman mob'.’
      • ‘Birthday parties do appear to be an expression of the organising mob's current standing.’
      • ‘I know that my mob and my group are expecting me to make decisions which advance our particular needs or interests.’
      • ‘Community members were persuaded to attend long and awkward meetings at which cattle station plans were outlined in language which was alien and obscure to the Bulman mob.’
      • ‘The supervisor, before he left, said, "See that he goes back to his mob".’
      • ‘Moreover, 'mobs' need to be defined situationally, as they wax and wane in size depending on the occasion.’
      • ‘A leading Australian novelist once upbraided me about the poet's indecent use of metaphor, as though he felt that my mob was stealing a march on him, poor soul.’
      • ‘There's three different mobs left that speak the traditional language.’
      • ‘Malnutrition was an issue for many children in Jetja Nai Medical Mob.’
      • ‘"You Walmajarri mob are lucky," said Pat, who comes from England.’
    3. 1.3The ordinary people.
      ‘the age-old fear that the mob may organize to destroy the last vestiges of civilized life’
      • ‘Fear of the mob has always been uppermost in the gentry's minds.’
      • ‘Irrational fear of the mob was the reason the Red Cross didn't enter the city.’
      • ‘There is no mob of the proletariat here to rip you apart.’
      • ‘The very fabric of the city was shaped by the elite's fear of the mob.’
      • ‘They did it because they had a justified fear of the mob.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, the mob was more organized that they expected as freshly reloaded guns began to fire at them.’
      • ‘Here, as elsewhere, the language of the mob and of public opinion have converged: there is no restraint; there are no euphemisms.’
      • ‘Our founding fathers made this a republic and not a democracy because they feared the mob.’
      the common people, the masses, the populace, the public, the multitude, the rank and file, the commonality, the commonalty, the third estate, the plebeians, the proletariat, the peasantry, the crowd
      View synonyms
  • 2North American The Mafia or a similar criminal organization.

    ‘he gambled at a time when the Mob ran gaming’
    • ‘The moments when the Mob catches up with him - where his vices hit him hardest - are the highlights of this film.’
    • ‘Now, we look ahead to the fifth and final season - hopefully later this year - of the show that has brought us all a little closer look at life in the modern Mob.’
    • ‘Ruby was a strip club owner, and was said to have connections with the Mob.’
    • ‘If the Mob had tried to build Las Vegas in 1929, in the middle of the Great Depression, the idea never would have gotten off the ground.’
    • ‘Nobody will date you if they find out you're part of the Mob.’
    • ‘The ‘Feds’ even break the law to make Mark speak, and the Mob do all they can to keep him quiet.’
    • ‘The Mob could always use an experienced trigger man!’
    • ‘The Mob was making it obvious that I could be next.’
    • ‘Always the notorious red-light district of sports, boxing today is as troubled as it was even in the days when the Mob called the shots.’
    • ‘And though Barry has been one of the Mob's more dependable components, he is as capable of playing as wildly, as out of control, as the rest of them.’
    • ‘I don't think you'll find anyone here with connections to the Mob.’
    • ‘If I hadn't decided it wasn't for me, I might well have ended up in the Mob myself.’
    • ‘The less the Mob conforms to contemporary social values, the greater its chance of survival.’
    • ‘Barry thinks selflessness is the Mob's most important quality.’
    • ‘The agency also has been accused of funding con artists and companies linked to the Mob.’
    • ‘Even though gangs like this have operated for many years, people do not want to believe that their friends are all a part of the Mob.’
    • ‘By then he'd raked in uncounted millions of dollars, much of which he shared with partners in the Mob.’
  • 3Australian NZ A flock or herd of animals.

    ‘a mob of cattle’
    • ‘It was what New Zealanders call a mob - not a flock - of sheep.’
    • ‘One of the first mobs of cattle to be walked down was in 1877, taking about ten weeks.’
    • ‘Cattle seem to recognise this, so in a mob of mixed breeds, the yaks generally set the pattern.’
    • ‘On 8 July 1871 Gason reported that a large mob of cattle had been seen some 300 kilometres north of the station.’
    • ‘Well we've got a lovely mob of cattle over here; it's quite a rustic rural scene with the shadows, casting long shadows with the afternoon sun.’


  • 1 Crowd round (someone) or into (a place) in an unruly way.

    ‘he was mobbed by autograph hunters’
    • ‘No self-respecting politician can ever be seen to be alone nowadays, and so whenever there is a camera around, the party leader and candidate are mobbed by pretend voters.’
    • ‘His speeches repeatedly brought the delegates to their feet, cheering and mobbing him for photos and autographs.’
    • ‘This was an extremely emotional event for many Bulgarians, and he was mobbed by the crowds.’
    • ‘He was mobbed by both students and adults, crowding around him for autographs and nearly missed his flight.’
    • ‘Nearby, a crowd mobbed a man on a pay phone, screaming at him to get off the phone so that they could call relatives.’
    • ‘Even before she got out of the airport, she was literally mobbed by the crowd, which included airport staff.’
    • ‘He is mobbed by fans wherever he goes, but even so he doesn't enjoy the same level of musical success he once did or the same level of public support.’
    • ‘They mobbed the visitors and grappled with them.’
    • ‘‘People came up and asked him for his autograph and when he went out he was mobbed by people who were convinced it was him,’ recalls Giovanni.’
    • ‘His focus was on the furniture but he hardly got a chance to look at the stuff on display as ecstatic fans practically mobbed him for autographs.’
    • ‘Though he is frequently mobbed by screaming teenagers desperate for his autograph, he claims he does not feel particularly famous.’
    • ‘The Prime Minister was treated like the pop star he once sought to be as school pupils mobbed him demanding autographs.’
    • ‘Stepping out into the dark humidity of the street we were mobbed by a crowd of kids who had been playing football in the shadows and now smelt profit.’
    • ‘When she arrived she was mobbed by children and she wanted to do more to help them, but she couldn't stay any longer.’
    • ‘I was mobbed by them for autographs outside the stadium and it made the hairs on my neck stand up when they sung my name.’
    • ‘And even though she was mobbed and jostled, she maintained her cool.’
    • ‘Anyway, one girl sees me with a lollipop, asks for one and next thing I'm mobbed by dozens of girls after them.’
    • ‘After he and his wife voted, well, he was mobbed by a pack of reporters, local, national, international, and entertainment reporters following his every move.’
    surround, swarm around, besiege, jostle
    cram full, fill to overflowing, fill, pack, throng, press into, squeeze into
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(of a group of birds or mammals) surround and attack (a predator or other source of threat) in order to drive it off.
      ‘a cuckoo flew over, to be mobbed at once by two reed warblers’
      ‘small mammals may indulge in mobbing to rid themselves of a feared killer’
      • ‘Overhead, a mewing cry announced the passing of a white-tailed sea eagle, which was being mobbed by agitated gulls.’
      • ‘Of 419 mobbing events, 87% were performed by a territory holder whose nests or fledglings were threatened.’
      • ‘It will pick out one bird from a flock and give chase, indifferent to the calls and mobbing flights of other birds.’
      • ‘I've heard that when young birds leave the nest, parents will mob a lot more actively almost to show what is danger and what isn't.’
      • ‘Pishing, the use of certain sibilant sounds to attract hidden birds, works because it triggers the level of hostile curiosity that presages mobbing.’
      • ‘Defense includes sentry birds alerting the flock to danger, as well as mobbing, in which several crows surround a potential predator and call out a forceful alarm.’
      • ‘After a bit, one of them flew up, circled round, splashed into the water and flew off with a fish, getting mobbed by Lapwings.’
      • ‘I leave you with one of the best passages of a description of a flock of blue jays mobbing a screech owl.’
      • ‘Swans competing for territory, herons being mobbed by crows and ducklings jumping for flies.’
      • ‘They will also mob predators in flight, gathering into tight flocks and dive-bombing a hawk or other predator.’
      • ‘Adult terns come over to mob the predator while the chicks take cover in the high grass or in their nests.’
      • ‘Swifts will often mob aerial predators such as raptors if they approach a flock.’
      • ‘Spectacular aerial demonstrations, often in the form of group mobbing by several adults, are accompanied by intense and prolonged shrieking.’
      • ‘Such an effect could be extended to mobbing birds.’
      • ‘A few brave souls were feeding them bags of seed or bread scraps, and were being so mobbed by pigeons that I was actually a bit worried for them.’
      • ‘Small songbirds often mob them, and imitating the call of a Northern Pygmy-Owl will often bring songbirds close in for observation.’
      • ‘Red-collared Widowbird females are unable to displace the shrikes, and no physical attacks or mobbing behavior was ever observed.’
      • ‘They are immediately mobbed by the group and may escape to fly away and sing again another day, but sometimes they are killed.’
      • ‘It soon attracts the attention of the local corvine tribe and is mobbed by rooks and jackdaws.’


Late 17th century: abbreviation of archaic mobile, short for Latin mobile vulgus excitable crowd.