A student was hit by a group of people.

Is it correct to say "The student was group-hit / group-beaten / gang-hit by a gang"?

Do we have a verb that expresses "to be hit or beaten by a group"?

  • 1
    How about in Vietnamese?
    – James K
    Oct 26, 2021 at 12:43
  • 1
    @JamesK, in Vietnamese, people say "he was hit assembly"
    – Tom
    Oct 26, 2021 at 12:45
  • 1
    Not a verb that I can think of, but there is a compound noun "gang beating," so you could say that the student "suffered (or endured) a gang beating." Oct 26, 2021 at 12:46
  • 3
    @AIQ Only if they're members of the Jets or Sharks and it's the 1950's :)
    – ColleenV
    Oct 26, 2021 at 13:49
  • 4
    To get "jumped" is a colloquialism that means to be surprised and beaten up by a group, as in, "I got jumped by a group of kids for my leather jacket".
    – gotube
    Oct 27, 2021 at 14:25

11 Answers 11


A verb that doesn't explicitly indicate beating but could work in context is "Mob", better used in the form "Mobbed".


Mob : to crowd about and attack or annoy


a crow mobbed by songbirds

the student was sent to the hospital after he was mobbed by a gang

  • 7
    Not so great, IMO, as mobbed can simply mean a group of people, the mob, got physically close, and no physical contact is necessary. Minor physical contact would normally be assumed, but not necessarily violent contact. If there was violent contact, I would expect a verb to be added: "He was pummeled by the mob", or "They were beaten by the mob", etc.
    – Mark G B
    Oct 27, 2021 at 3:25
  • 1
    Agree with Mark. to mob is quite different.
    – Lambie
    Oct 27, 2021 at 17:33
  • 1
    "mobed and beaten" works but is not a single word answer
    – Jasen
    Oct 28, 2021 at 9:34

While it doesn't necessarily imply physical violence, the term

Gang(ed) up on

would work well here




We were at the park and got jumped by 12 gang bangers!


  • 3
    TIL gang banger means gang member.
    – JoL
    Oct 27, 2021 at 17:09
  • E.g. "The student got jumped by a gang" works. It's informal, but works.
    – LawrenceC
    Oct 27, 2021 at 18:31
  • But "I was jumped by 12 guys" or "I was beaten by 12 guys" -- both just as good. Jumped doesn't say it was a group at all. It says that the 1 or more people ambushed you. Oct 27, 2021 at 21:52
  • "Jumped" means "personally attacked without warning, typically from concealment", but conveys nothing about the quantity of people attacking - could be one, could be many. It only conveys the manner or attack. However, I think "gang banged" is a possible answer to the question.
    – Bohemian
    Oct 27, 2021 at 22:07
  • 4
    @Bohemian being gang banged has very different connotations.
    – barbecue
    Oct 28, 2021 at 15:24

Not "group-beaten"

The compound noun "gang beating" exists. It is mostly used in headlines or similar contexts.

French police arrest nine over 15-year-old boy's brutal gang beating in Paris.

Otherwise the subject of the verb (or the by phrase in a passive sentence) is sufficient:

A 20-year-old man was left looking “unrecognisable” after being beaten up by a gang of shirtless schoolboys in a town “overrun” with out-of-control youths.

A group of girls beat up a woman in Chester, videotaped it and posted the beating on Facebook.

These use the phrasal verb "beat up" to indicate completeness etc.

  • 1
    The phrase "gang beating" runs the risk of being interpreted as a group of gang members beating someone, instead of just a random group of thugs though.
    – ColleenV
    Oct 26, 2021 at 13:22
  • 3
    A "gang" is just a group with common criminal purpose. So technically a random group of thugs is a "gang".... though you know that anything following the word "technically" can be ignored, including this. xkcd.com/1475
    – James K
    Oct 26, 2021 at 21:10
  • 4
    In that vein, a "gang beating" to me sounds like someone beaten gang-style, or for a gang-related reason, but by possibly just 1 gang member. Oct 27, 2021 at 2:15

Another possibility is swarm (as a transitive verb).

to beset or surround in a swarm

This word doesn’t necessarily imply violence, but you could say something like, “His attackers swarmed him.”



Also gang-bashed in past tense, and gang-bashing in noun form. May appear more often as gang bash, compound word rather than hyphenated.

Sufficiently well-known to be used in news media, these examples being hidden by spoilers as they may contain distressing statements.

In Australia,

County court: Gang-bash vigilante gets taste of jail A VIGILANTE who helped gang-bash a North Geelong man...

here again,

A former soldier has fallen victim to an alleged gang bashing when he went to help a woman in trouble in a Melbourne park.

and in New Zealand,

At the end of the Crown case, Gibson-Park elected to give evidence, describing what took place “as a bit of a gang bash”.

These can be distinguished from the use of (unhyphenated) "gang bash" as a synonym of "a group's celebration party", and from the unconnected object and verb of a sentence, as in "the drum gang bash their instruments".

  • This is not a term in use in the USA that I've ever seen. Is it commonly used outside of AU/NZ?
    – T.E.D.
    Oct 28, 2021 at 14:34
  • 1
    What relevance does the USA have to this? It probably isn't used in Brazil or China or Denmark either.
    – Nij
    Oct 29, 2021 at 3:58
  • 2
    Since the Q wasn't asking about any specific region, but rather English at large, any place where the term is unknown among native speakers is relevant. They would have every right to feel hard-done by this site if they took an answer here, tried to use it in a major English-speaking country, and only then discovered that 82.5% of all native speakers have no idea what they are saying. If an answer is a regionalism and/or dialectical it should be clearly marked as such. I'm just trying to determine if it is.
    – T.E.D.
    Oct 29, 2021 at 13:03
  • 2
    For these sorts of questions, it would be nice to have the answer labels being tested on Stack Overflow. We could indicate the region by labeling this answer <kbd>AusE</kbd>. Frankly, I think ELL could use more Australian English answers :)
    – ColleenV
    Oct 29, 2021 at 13:45
  • This is also rare to unknown in British English - not a bad answer, just in need of a note onusage
    – Chris H
    Oct 29, 2021 at 15:47

A student was mobbed by a group of people. A student was ganged upon by a group of people.

  • 8
    I would usually spell your latter suggestion as "ganged up on" rather than "ganged upon", as the underlying phrasal verb is "to gang up", and the fact that the "up" is more stressed than the "on", the opposite of what would be expected from "upon"
    – Tristan
    Oct 27, 2021 at 8:49
  • "Ganging up on," much like my suggestion of "dogpiling," could also be seen as more of a metaphorical usage rather than literal.
    – ribs2spare
    Oct 27, 2021 at 15:36

Lots, although many of the most commonly used form are verb phrases, rather than simple verbs.

dogpiled - Literally this means multiple people physically get on top of one person. However, this has common less literal meanings of someone just getting attacked by so many people from so many directions that defense is impossible. This can even include verbal and online assaults.

jumped - This can be used in the sense of the subject was subjected to a surprise attack from one or more parties. Usually a small group when its talking about a group.

ganged-up on - This is basically what you say instead when "dogpiled" seems too slangy.

mobbed - This is basically the same as dogpiled, but not as severe. The literal implication implies a large group of assailants, but doesn't imply the target was necessarily taken to the ground. Your typical Kung-Fu movie hero gets mobbed, but usually not dogpiled.


No, there is not a single word to indicate a physical beating of an individual or group by a different group of people. Or, if there is, I am not aware of it. What we do use is a noun to indicate the size, type, or character of the group (e.g. mob, gang, crowd, etc.), and a verb or verb phrase to indicate the character of the physical interaction (e.g. bumped, pushed, shoved, beat, beat severely, etc.). Note that "mob" can also be used as a verb, but as a verb it does not indicate a level of physical contact.


The crowd of young fans were so enamored of the singer that they mobbed the stage and injured the band members.

The Jan 6th protestors ganged up and beat the officers so severely that some died.


I would say "dogpiled." But this can sometimes come across as overly metaphorical. However, in American English, this was the first word that came to mind.


To 'Lynch' or 'Lynched' (past tense) would suffice. Just be careful as, while not specifically used against black people in America,' to lynch someone' would imply a racial motive to the 'gang beating'

  • 6
    Lynching involves killing - you wouldn't use it to describe beating someone up. Oct 27, 2021 at 11:57
  • 2
    In the US, this has quite a few racial connotations. I'd avoid using this one unless you are specifically intending to make that reference. It could be read as very offensive by some English-speakers if used incorrectly.
    – ribs2spare
    Oct 27, 2021 at 15:35

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