Definition of mob in US English:

mob

noun

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

    ‘a mob of protesters’
    • ‘Crowds and mobs are not completely irrational, but they have their own logic.’
    • ‘‘We used rubber bullets to disperse the mob during a series of violent demonstrations,’ he said.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I feared trouble because the mob was growing restless and violent.’
    • ‘Yet the historian does not feel provoked enough to indict him for failing to understand what forces the destructive potential of mobs and crowds.’
    • ‘Instantly the crowd became a mob, screaming, cowering.’
    • ‘They stood like a unmoving mob, crowded together, trying to get a better view of him.’
    • ‘Before anybody gets too sentimental about the blessings of music, however, Brown points out that music can also transform crowds into a dangerous mob.’
    • ‘Second, it shows not a small mob but a huge crowd.’
    • ‘Instead, a voice-over quoting from telegraph reports briefly mentions some of the mob's racist violence.’
    • ‘The Police have even been forced to use a megaphone to ask the mobs to disperse.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘White mob violence against blacks was a deliberate tool used to maintain white supremacy, not to punish crime.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Just then a mob of Bolsheviks crowded into the room.’
    • ‘He is proof that violence is needed to contain violence and that one just man will prevail over the corrupt mob and timorous crowd.’
    • ‘Quickly, a crowd gathered and that crowd escalated into a mob even faster.’
    • ‘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.’
    crowd, horde, multitude, rabble, mass, body, throng
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1North American The Mafia or a similar criminal organization.
      • ‘Barry thinks selflessness is the Mob's most important quality.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ruby was a strip club owner, and was said to have connections with the Mob.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘I don't think you'll find anyone here with connections to the Mob.’
      • ‘The less the Mob conforms to contemporary social values, the greater its chance of survival.’
      • ‘The moments when the Mob catches up with him - where his vices hit him hardest - are the highlights of this film.’
      • ‘By then he'd raked in uncounted millions of dollars, much of which he shared with partners in the Mob.’
      • ‘Nobody will date you if they find out you're part of the Mob.’
      • ‘The agency also has been accused of funding con artists and companies linked to the Mob.’
      • ‘If I hadn't decided it wasn't for me, I might well have ended up in the Mob myself.’
      • ‘The Mob was making it obvious that I could be next.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2the mob The ordinary people.
      ‘the age-old fear that the mob may organize to destroy the last vestiges of civilized life’
      • ‘Irrational fear of the mob was the reason the Red Cross didn't enter the city.’
      • ‘They did it because they had a justified fear of the mob.’
      • ‘There is no mob of the proletariat here to rip you apart.’
      • ‘Fear of the mob has always been uppermost in the gentry's minds.’
      • ‘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 very fabric of the city was shaped by the elite's fear of 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

verb

[with object]
  • 1Crowd around (someone) in an unruly and excitable way in order to admire or attack them.

    ‘he was mobbed by autograph hunters’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Prime Minister was treated like the pop star he once sought to be as school pupils mobbed him demanding autographs.’
    • ‘Nearby, a crowd mobbed a man on a pay phone, screaming at him to get off the phone so that they could call relatives.’
    • ‘This was an extremely emotional event for many Bulgarians, and he was mobbed by the crowds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Anyway, one girl sees me with a lollipop, asks for one and next thing I'm mobbed by dozens of girls after them.’
    • ‘They mobbed the visitors and grappled with them.’
    • ‘When she arrived she was mobbed by children and she wanted to do more to help them, but she couldn't stay any longer.’
    • ‘Even before she got out of the airport, she was literally mobbed by the crowd, which included airport staff.’
    • ‘He was mobbed by both students and adults, crowding around him for autographs and nearly missed his flight.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Though he is frequently mobbed by screaming teenagers desperate for his autograph, he claims he does not feel particularly famous.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His speeches repeatedly brought the delegates to their feet, cheering and mobbing him for photos and autographs.’
    • ‘And even though she was mobbed and jostled, she maintained her cool.’
    surround, swarm around, besiege, jostle
    crowd, crowd into, 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.
      • ‘Red-collared Widowbird females are unable to displace the shrikes, and no physical attacks or mobbing behavior was ever observed.’
      • ‘Pishing, the use of certain sibilant sounds to attract hidden birds, works because it triggers the level of hostile curiosity that presages mobbing.’
      • ‘Such an effect could be extended to mobbing birds.’
      • ‘It will pick out one bird from a flock and give chase, indifferent to the calls and mobbing flights of other birds.’
      • ‘It soon attracts the attention of the local corvine tribe and is mobbed by rooks and jackdaws.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Overhead, a mewing cry announced the passing of a white-tailed sea eagle, which was being mobbed by agitated gulls.’
      • ‘Small songbirds often mob them, and imitating the call of a Northern Pygmy-Owl will often bring songbirds close in for observation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After a bit, one of them flew up, circled round, splashed into the water and flew off with a fish, getting mobbed by Lapwings.’
      • ‘They are immediately mobbed by the group and may escape to fly away and sing again another day, but sometimes they are killed.’
      • ‘Adult terns come over to mob the predator while the chicks take cover in the high grass or in their nests.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Spectacular aerial demonstrations, often in the form of group mobbing by several adults, are accompanied by intense and prolonged shrieking.’
      • ‘Swans competing for territory, herons being mobbed by crows and ducklings jumping for flies.’
      • ‘Of 419 mobbing events, 87% were performed by a territory holder whose nests or fledglings were threatened.’
      • ‘Swifts will often mob aerial predators such as raptors if they approach a flock.’
      • ‘They will also mob predators in flight, gathering into tight flocks and dive-bombing a hawk or other predator.’
      • ‘I leave you with one of the best passages of a description of a flock of blue jays mobbing a screech owl.’
    2. 1.2 Crowd into (a building or place)
      ‘an unruly crowd mobbed the White House during an inaugural reception’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

mob

/mäb//mɑb/