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gang, group of people organized for a common purpose, often criminal. Gangs of criminals were long known on the American frontier and also flourished in urban settings. Notorious were the outlaws led by Jesse James and his brother, the Sydney Ducks of San Francisco (active in the 1850s), and the Hudson Dusters of turn-of-the-century New York City. Modern criminal gangs are largely urban and highly organized (see organized crime). Adolescent gangs before World War II were generally poverty-area recreational groups that turned to crime under the influence of adult gangs. Often the groups were rehabilitated through recreational leadership and guidance in community centers. In the late 1940s fighting gangs arose in the poverty areas of most large cities. Uniting to seek security and status in a discouraging environment, the young members divide their neighborhoods into rival territories and amass homemade and stolen weapons. Boundary violations or other insults invite intergang fights in streets or parks. Most fighting gangs are organized intricately, with caste systems and with officers who arrange battles and prepare strategy; the gang may range in size from several members to over 100. Factors related to the development of delinquent gangs include blighted communities, dropping out of school, unemployment, family disorganization, neighborhood traditions of gang delinquency, psychopathology, and ethnic status. Gangs provide acceptance and protection to inner-city youth; in Los Angeles gangs doubled from 400 in 1985 to 800 (with 90,000 members) in 1990. See also juvenile delinquency.


See L. Yablonsky, The Violent Gang (1962, repr. 1970); M. W. Klein and B. G. Myerhoff, Juvenile Gangs in Context (1967); J. F. Short, ed., Gang Delinquency and Delinquent Subcultures (1968); E. Liebow, Talley's Corner (1968); J. Haskins, Street Gangs: Yesterday and Today (1977); W. F. Whyte, Streetcorner Society (1981); A. Campbell, Girls in the Gang (1984); E. Dolan, Youth Gangs (1984); L. Bing, Do or Die (1991).

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What does it mean when you dream about a gang?

Dreaming of being a gang member may be an unconscious expression of the need to achieve things through force and intimidation. If threatened by a gang, one may feel that life conditions or the factors associated with a particular issue have “ganged up” on them.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


A mechanical connection of two or more circuit devices so that they can be varied at the same time.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. a herd of buffaloes or elks or a pack of wild dogs
a. a series of similar tools arranged to work simultaneously in parallel
b. (as modifier): a gang saw
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
"This was a complex and lengthy investigation to unravel a multi-million-pound fraud by an organised crime gang that stole directly from UK finances and the British taxpayer." During Ashraf's trial, the court heard customs officers seized more than half a million documents and 130 computer hard drives.
Police said Salazar Santos, the alleged crime gang leader, opened fire at the officers who returned fire.
"The CAB investigation centres on an individual member of an organised crime gang involved in the sale and supply of controlled drugs in the Limerick city and county area.
So you are driving around in your normal, everyday car and a member of a serious crime gang might be driving around in a PS50,000 car.
Prosecutor Mr Fisher claimed it was clear that Surdhar was supplying the organised crime gang with guns, and that he was in direct contact with their armourer.
"They have also sworn to flush out members of the so-called new IRA that have been passing information on to this crime gang about republicans.
It's now 1979 and Vietnam veteran Lou Solverson is a young state police officer who, along with his father-in-law, Sheriff Hank Larsson, is investigating the links between a local crime gang and a major Mob syndicate.
ECHO Reporter gemmajaleel @ A LIVERPOOL man who was part of crime gang that laundered dirty money and dealt drugs has been jailed.
DOORS were battered down today as a suspected organised crime gang was busted.
Six men were found guilty earlier this week after a jury at Winchester Crown Court heard that an Israeli organised crime gang employed an eastern European crew to transport the drugs.