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crowd 1

1. A large number of persons gathered together; a throng.
2. The common people; the populace.
3. A group of people united by a common characteristic, as age, interest, or vocation: the over-30 crowd.
4. A group of people attending a public function; an audience: The play drew a small but appreciative crowd.
5. A large number of things positioned or considered together.
v. crowd·ed, crowd·ing, crowds
1. To gather together in a limited space: The children crowded around the TV.
2. To move forward by pressing or shoving: A bevy of reporters crowded toward the candidate.
1. To force by pressing or shoving: Police crowded the spectators back to the viewing stand.
2. To force away by taking up space; displace: Urban sprawl crowded the farmers out of the valley.
3. To draw or stand very near or too near to: The batter crowded the plate. Please don't crowd me.
4. To press, cram, or force tightly together: crowded the clothes into the closet.
5. To fill or occupy to overflowing: Books crowded the shelves.
6. Informal To put pressure on; assail: Dark thoughts were crowding him.
crowd (on) sail Nautical
To spread a large amount of sail to increase speed.

[From Middle English crowden, to crowd, press, from Old English crūdan, to hasten, press.]

crowd′er n.
Synonyms: crowd1, crush, flock1, horde, mob, throng
These nouns denote a large group of people gathered close to one another: a crowd of well-wishers; a crush of autograph seekers; a flock of schoolchildren; a horde of demonstrators; a mob of hard-rock enthusiasts; throngs of tourists.

crowd 2

 (kroud, kro͞od)
1. An ancient Celtic stringed instrument that was bowed or plucked. Also called crwth.
2. Chiefly British A fiddle.

[Middle English croud, from Middle Welsh crwth.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


See also mob.

a mania for crowds. Also called ochlomania.
a fondness for crowds. — demophil, demophile. n.
an abnormal fear of crowds. Also called ochlophobia.
government by the mob; the mob as ruler or dominant force in society. — mobocrat, n. — mobocratic, adj.
an ancient military formation of serried ranks surrounded by shields; hence, any crowded mass of people or group united for a common purpose.
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.




  1. About as much privacy as a statue in the park —Anon
  2. As lacking in privacy as a goldfish —Anon
  3. Bunched and jammed together as solidly as the bristles in a brush —Mark Twain
  4. Came crowding like the waves of ocean, one on the other —Lord Byron
  5. Clustering like a swarm of bees —Amy Lowell
  6. Crowded like a view of Venice —Frank O’Hara
  7. Crowded [stores] like tightly woven multi-colored carpet of people —Richard J. Meislin, New York Times
  8. The crowd in the lobby [of a hotel] was frozen in poses like the chorus at the curtain of a musical comedy —Vicki Baum
  9. The crowd scattered in all directions, like a flock of chickens among which a stone had been thrown —Aharon Megged
  10. Feel like a pressed flower —Edith Wharton
  11. Flocking … like geese —Sharon Sheehe Stark
  12. (The public was) flowing in like a river —Enid Bagnold
  13. Huddle together like birds in a storm —Robert Graves
  14. Jostled like two steers in the stock yards —A. R. Guerney, Jr.
  15. Loaded up like a garbage truck —Paige Mitchell
  16. Man … still, like a hen, he likes his private run —W. H. Auden
  17. Men milled everywhere, like cattle in a lightning storm —James Crumley
  18. Mobs in their emotions are much like children, subject to the same tantrums and fits of fury —Euripides
  19. No more privacy than a traffic cop —Anon
  20. [People] packed as closely as herring in a barrel —Sholom Aleichem
  21. Packed like a cattle pen —Paige Mitchell
  22. The people bunched like cattle in a storm —James Crumley
  23. People [on train] … hanging from straps like sides of beef on a hook —Julio CortÁzar
  24. People [at a party] … packed tight as a rugby scrum —Nadine Gordimer

    If Gordimer’s story The Smell of Death and Flowers had been set in America, it might have had a football lineup for the rugby scrum.

  25. People streaming from the plane like busy insects on the march —Sylvia Berkman
  26. Stood packed like matches in an upright box —William Faulkner
  27. Swarm like bees —Anon
  28. Swarm like summer flies —William Shakespeare
  29. (Apartments) tenanted tight as hen-houses —Barbara Howes
  30. (Surrounded by militia … ) thick as aphids —Derek Lambert
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
The chaplain's assistant, and some members who were imploring the people to retire, immediately withdrew; and then, with a great shout, both crowds threw themselves against the doors pell-mell, and besieged the House in earnest.
It was not without its method, however; for, in a very short space of time after being put in motion, the crowd had resolved itself into three great parties, and were prepared, as had been arranged, to cross the river by different bridges, and make for the House of Commons in separate detachments.
IT WAS EARLY evening of a day in, the late fall and the Winesburg County Fair had brought crowds of country people into town.
In the main street of Winesburg crowds filled the stores and the sidewalks.
By half past eight, when the Deputation was destroyed, there may have been a crowd of three hundred people or more at this place, besides those who had left the road to approach the Martians nearer.
The description of their death, as it was seen by the crowd, tallies very closely with my own impressions: the three puffs of green smoke, the deep humming note, and the flashes of flame.
When Hetty had caught sight of the vast crowd in the distance, she had clutched Dinah convulsively.
There was always a crowd there, always shouting, laughter and abuse, hideous hoarse singing and often fighting.
The place was crowded with people grouped about little tables.
So the crowd of citizens, male and female, having closed their houses and shops, thronged from every direction, at early morn, towards some one of the three spots designated.
From the window, that commanded a view of the whole Place, D'Artagnan saw, with interior satisfaction, that such of the musketeers and guards as found themselves involved in the crowd, were able, with blows of their fists and the hilts of their swords, to keep room.
"What a fine fellow you are, friend!" said the Cossack to a convoy soldier with a wagon, who was pressing onto the infantrymen who were crowded together close to his wheels and his horses.