of, relating to, or characteristic of a lawless, irrational, disorderly, or riotous crowd: mob rule; mob instincts.
directed at or reflecting the lowest intellectual level of the common people: mob appeal; the mob mentality.

verb (used with object), mobbed, mob·bing.

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. 2019

Related Words for mobbing

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

Examples from the Web for mobbing

Contemporary Examples of mobbing

Historical Examples of mobbing

  • Instead of mobbing her every man in the place started to laugh.

    Lalage's Lovers

    George A. Birmingham

  • I let my porch be used for meeting and mobbing, as you might say.

  • There is no violence, no shooting or mobbing—only passive resistance.

    Nasby in Exile

    David R. Locke

  • He whipped the brute so thoroughly that it put an end to the mobbing in Honolulu.

  • I never heard any more talk of mobbing in that neighborhood.

British Dictionary definitions for mobbing



  1. a riotous or disorderly crowd of people; rabble
  2. (as modifier)mob law; mob violence
often derogatory a group or class of people, animals, or things
Australian and NZ a flock (of sheep) or a herd (of cattle, esp when droving)
often derogatory the masses
slang a gang of criminals

verb mobs, mobbing or mobbed (tr)

to attack in a group resembling a mob
to surround, esp in order to acclaimthey mobbed the film star
to crowd into (a building, plaza, etc)
(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

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 mobbing



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