See more synonyms for mob on
  1. a disorderly or riotous crowd of people.
  2. a crowd bent on or engaged in lawless violence.
  3. any group or collection of persons or things.
  4. the common people; the masses; populace or multitude.
  5. a criminal gang, especially one involved in drug trafficking, extortion, etc.
  6. the Mob, Mafia(def 1).
  7. Sociology. a group of persons stimulating one another to excitement and losing ordinary rational control over their activity.
  8. a flock, herd, or drove of animals: a mob of sheep.
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of a lawless, irrational, disorderly, or riotous crowd: mob rule; mob instincts.
  2. directed at or reflecting the lowest intellectual level of the common people: mob appeal; the mob mentality.
verb (used with object), mobbed, mob·bing.
  1. to crowd around noisily, as from curiosity or hostility: Spectators mobbed the courtroom.
  2. to attack in a riotous mob: The crowd mobbed the consulate.
  3. Fox Hunting. to chop (a fox).

Origin of mob

1680–90; short for Latin mōbile vulgus the movable (i.e., changeable, inconstant) common people
Related formsmob·ber, mob·bist, nounmob·bish, adjectivemob·bish·ly, adverbmob·bish·ness, nounmob·bism, nounun·mobbed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for mobbed

swarm, jostle, throng, crowd, riot, attack, jam, cram, fill, hustle, overrun, pack

Examples from the Web for mobbed

Contemporary Examples of mobbed

Historical Examples of mobbed

  • We were all but mobbed by the very people who had earlier slighted me.

    The Lion's Skin

    Rafael Sabatini

  • One set of papers says he was mobbed, and the other that he made a hit.

    Mixed Faces

    Roy Norton

  • I looked upon the narrow streets where Garrison was mobbed for my sake.

  • I don't want to be mobbed when they hear that I have the secret of the star-drive.

    The Colors of Space

    Marion Zimmer Bradley

  • As for Tiny, she may not be mobbed, but she has one man in love with her after another.

    The Californians

    Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

British Dictionary definitions for mobbed


    1. a riotous or disorderly crowd of people; rabble
    2. (as modifier)mob law; mob violence
  1. often derogatory a group or class of people, animals, or things
  2. Australian and NZ a flock (of sheep) or a herd (of cattle, esp when droving)
  3. often derogatory the masses
  4. slang a gang of criminals
verb mobs, mobbing or mobbed (tr)
  1. to attack in a group resembling a mob
  2. to surround, esp in order to acclaimthey mobbed the film star
  3. to crowd into (a building, plaza, etc)
  4. (of a group of animals of a prey species) to harass (a predator)
See also mobs
Derived Formsmobber, nounmobbish, adjective

Word Origin for mob

C17: shortened from Latin mōbile vulgus the fickle populace; see mobile


abbreviation for
  1. mobile phone
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

Word Origin and History for mobbed



1680s, "disorderly part of the population, rabble," slang shortening of mobile, mobility "common people, populace, rabble" (1670s, probably with a conscious play on nobility), from Latin mobile vulgus "fickle common people" (the phrase attested c.1600 in English), from mobile, neuter of mobilis "fickle, movable, mobile" (see mobile (adj.)). In Australia and New Zealand, used without disparagement for "a crowd." Meaning "gang of criminals working together" is from 1839, originally of thieves or pick-pockets; American English sense of "organized crime in general" is from 1927.

The Mob was not a synonym for the Mafia. It was an alliance of Jews, Italians, and a few Irishmen, some of them brilliant, who organized the supply, and often the production, of liquor during the thirteen years, ten months, and nineteen days of Prohibition. ... Their alliance -- sometimes called the Combination but never the Mafia -- was part of the urgent process of Americanizing crime. [Pete Hamill, "Why Sinatra Matters," 1998]

Mob scene "crowded place" first recorded 1922.



"to attack in a mob," 1709, from mob (n.). Meaning "to form into a mob" is from 1711. Related: Mobbed; mobbing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper