The word crowd (as a noun, not a verb), can be fairly negative; it implies, if not disorderliness, then at least people being packed together. Sometimes that’s positive (like if a stadium or a concert draws a crowd), but in the context I’m writing for, it is not.

So what’s a positive version of the word crowd? Something that implies lots of people, but not in a negative way. I’ve looked at many synonyms in various thesauruses, but most are either negative, or have strange connotations — throng, congregation, mob, horde. As you can see, none of them really fit.

Here’s a sample sentence for the way I would like to use the word:

A crowd gathered, to enjoy the sunshine and company.

  • You should include a sample sentence demonstrating how you would use the selected word. Commented May 7, 2020 at 10:01
  • @KillingTime that’s an excellent idea, thank you! I’ve included it. Commented May 7, 2020 at 10:17
  • A gathering, perhaps? Commented May 7, 2020 at 10:20
  • 2
    The context you give does imply positivity and friendliness. Why does it need qualifying? If a negative situation, the sentence could continue, for example, with "but it became oppressive." Commented May 7, 2020 at 11:35
  • A 'joyous assembly' perhaps overstates it. Commented May 7, 2020 at 12:44

2 Answers 2


I personally find nothing negative (or positive) about the noun crowd. (Although the verb crowd could be different.) I suspect you are putting too much emphasis on its synonyms. Most (if not actually all) synonyms are related to a word, but they aren't actually identical.

However, an alternative which I can't force (so to speak) into a negative connotation in the same way is group:

2 a: a number of individuals assembled together or having some unifying relationship
// a study group


A group gathered to enjoy the sunshine and company.

If you need to be explicit about the size of the group (as crowd normally implies), you need to also use an adjective:

A large group gathered to enjoy the sunshine and company.


I think crowd is quite neutral, but how about changing the verb to make how they came together more positive? A crowd assembled A crowd came together A crowd united

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