verb (used with object), mobbed, mob·bing.
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Origin of mob1
OTHER WORDS FROM mob
Words nearby mob
Definition for mob (2 of 3)
noun Digital Technology.
Origin of mob2
Definition for mob (3 of 3)
ABOUT THIS WORD
What does mob mean?
A mob is an unruly and often violent group of people, especially one engaged in a riot or other lawless violence.
Some mobs organize intentionally to engage in violence and destruction, but sometimes people assemble spontaneously and turn into a mob, such as in reaction to some event. Because people who have massed together in such a way typically don’t follow any formal leadership or string of command, mobs are known for getting out of control and engaging in chaotic, unpredictable, and often violent behavior.
Sometimes, the word refers to a large group of people acting in an aggressive or hostile way in a virtual space, as in Don’t post that unless you want to feel the wrath of the social media mob.
This sense of mob is often used as a modifier (adjective) to describe things carried out by mobs or involving mobs, as in mob violence and mob rule.
Like the word riot, the word mob is sometimes intentionally used inaccurately to portray groups in a negative way when this characterization is not warranted. For example, an opponent of a protest might call a group of peaceful protesters a mob as an attempt to discredit the protesters and their message.
The word mob can also be used as a verb meaning to assemble in large numbers or crowd around someone or something, especially in an unruly way, as in Holiday shoppers mobbed the store as soon as it opened or The star is mobbed by photographers every time she leaves her house. A place or person who has been crowded in this way can be described with the adjective mobbed.
As a verb, mob can also mean to attack as a mob, as in Wave after wave of rebels mobbed the embassy.
Mob is sometimes used as a noun in a more figurative way to collectively refer to common people or the masses, in which case it is typically preceded by the, as in His campaign platform is too subtle to win over the mob. This sense of the word often implies that the common people lack sophistication, intelligence, or are otherwise base and crude. This is what’s implied in the phrase mob mentality, which refers to a mindset motivated by the basest human instincts.
Example: Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of a mob is that the group and the people in it have passed the point of being able to be reasoned with.
Where does mob come from?
The first records of the word mob come from the 1680s. It comes from a shortening of the Latin phrase mōbile vulgus, meaning “the movable common people,” in which moveable means something like “changeable” or “fickle.” The phrase implies that the common people can be easily swayed, as opposed to having firm and unchanging beliefs.
Most senses of the word mob still imply this sense of unpredictability. Groups considered mobs are often associated with hostility and a tendency for violence and destruction that gets more out of control as more people become part of the mob. Psychologists study mobs to better understand how and at what point a group of people turn into a mob. The goal of such study is to understand the reason why people begin to take part in the kind of violent and destructive behavior that they might not otherwise engage in if they were simply by themselves.
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What are some other forms related to mob?
- mobbed (past tense verb, adjective)
What are some synonyms for mob?
What are some words that share a root or word element with mob?
What are some words that often get used in discussing mob?
How is mob used in real life?
Mob has several different meanings, but it is most often used in a negative way.
I can imagine no better illustration of the actual meaning of "mob rule." A literal mob incited by a lawless, outgoing president and his partisan toadies has successfully delayed the congressional certification of the election he lost. This is a truly dark day in our history.
— Will Wilkinson 🌐 (@willwilkinson) January 6, 2021
The FIR report of the killings states that the couple was attacked by a mob of 600 ppl.Thy were dragged to the brick kiln by ten people.
— Javeria Siddique (@javerias) November 6, 2014
History is written by the victors, the present is written by an angry mob on Twitter.
— Brydon Coverdale (@brydoncoverdale) December 12, 2019
— Jennifer Hattam (@TheTurkishLife) June 23, 2019
In 1996, a 5-year undercover investigation called GAMTAX culminated in the indictment of 17 members of the #Detroit mob—nearly its entire hierarchy—on charges of illegal gambling, loan-sharking, extortion, and acts of violence in support of those crimes. #FBIDetroit #History
— FBI Detroit (@FBIDetroit) July 20, 2019
Try using mob!
Is mob used correctly in the following sentence?
The senator was mobbed by reporters asking him to comment on his vote.
Example sentences from the Web for mob
Fort Lauderdale resident Chris Nelson told the newspaper that his group, ReOpen South Florida, organized the “flash mob.”Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider does not approve of anti-maskers using ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’|radmarya|September 17, 2020|Fortune
As word got out about the shortages, mobs began breaking into pharmacies to secure medicine.America Is About to Lose Its 200,000th Life to Coronavirus. How Many More Have to Die?|by Stephen Engelberg|September 14, 2020|ProPublica
Attorney General Bill Barr similarly denounced “mob violence.”Kenosha’s looting is a symptom of a decrepit democracy|Aaron Ross Coleman|September 4, 2020|Vox
For his part, Sethi has tried to target conservatives who might be upset with the anti-police brutality protests following George Floyd’s death, asking if they’re “sick of the mobs yet.”
The highest form of political courage is doing the right thing when the mob is against it.
General Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to the first President Bush, shuffled head-down through the mob.Kissy-Face The Nation: Washington’s Power Elite Smooch Bob Schieffer|Lloyd Grove|November 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
She apparently could even pick out her man of choice in a post-concert mob.
Moments later, a mob of about 25 young men burst through the door and unleashed a brutal attack on Singh.
Rather than helping though, policemen were actually complicit in the mob violence.
The parliament house and library of the British provinces, at Montreal, burned by a mob.The Every Day Book of History and Chronology|Joel Munsell
The moon rose on a terrified mob trudging or riding the forty miles of road between Meerut and the Mogul capital.
Two artillery subalterns who had fought their way through a mob stricken with panic for the moment, soon arrived.
The mob of relatives and friends wrecked and burned the castle, massacring the retainers to a man.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
They are quite sure "the mob" will do no harm if it is vigilantly watched and thoroughly overawed.Glances at Europe|Horace Greeley
British Dictionary definitions for mob (1 of 2)
- a riotous or disorderly crowd of people; rabble
- (as modifier)mob law; mob violence