A "gang" is a group of people. This word is often used for criminal groups or for youngsters who organize themselves into a group. In the United States, some inner-city kids take great pride in being a part of a gang. They join when they are teenagers and remain in the gang well into adulthood. The presence of gangs in a community is generally considered to be a problem.

  • Jamal joined a gang when he was fifteen years old.
  • Jasmine was initiated into a gang when she was fourteen years old.
  • The Bloods are a well-known gang in Los Angeles.
  • The 18th Street Gang is a Latino gang.
  • The Triad is an Asian-American gang.
  • There are many different motorcycle gangs and motorcycle clubs.
  • Some gangs provide services for their community and are not involved in illegal activity.
  • Gangs formed in the 1920s during the Prohibition were involved in the sales of alcohol, drugs, and prostitution.
  • Al Capone was a famous gangster. (The word "gangster" is used for a person.)
  • gang memberMany gang members eventually wind up in prison.

Sometimes the word "gang" is used in greeting or referring to a large group of people. In this case, it’s quite different from the use of the word cited above:

  • Hey, gang! What’s up?
  • Okay, gang. Let’s go!
  • Where’s my gang? (Where’s the group that I belong to?)

Note: Some gangs identify themselves in a neighborhood through the use of graffiti or "tagging." If you see graffiti in the place where you live, it often means there is some kind of a gang present. Some gangs are harmless, but some are a serious problem for communities and for parents whose children choose to join a gang.


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Published on May 30, 2012