gang

Definitions

General English

Agriculture

  • noun a group of workers working together, e.g. a gang of sheep shearers

Construction

  • A working technique in which several machines and/or apparatuses are controlled by a single force and combined in such a way as to function as a single unit.

Electronics

  • To mechanically connect two electrical components, devices, or controls, so that they can be operated and varied simultaneously, usually using a single knob.

Law

  • noun a group of criminals working together

Military

  • noun a group of people who act together for some illegal purpose

Origin & History of “gang”

Gang originally meant ‘going, journey’. It was borrowed from Old Norse gangr, which goes back ultimately to the same Germanic source (the verb *ganggan ‘go’) as produced the German past participle gegangen ‘gone’ and Old English gangan ‘go’ – still preserved in Scottish gang ‘go’ and in gangway (17th c.). Originally literally a ‘way for going’. The word’s modern meaning seems to have developed via ‘quantity carried on a journey’ (a common usage in Scottish English well into the 19th century) and ‘set of articles carried together’ to (in the 17th century) ‘group of workmen’ and ‘group of people acting together for a (bad) purpose’.
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