Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

WORD ORIGIN

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.

Mob scene "crowded place" first recorded 1922.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR THE MOB

Cosa Nostra

nounthe mafia
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.