Old English crudan "to press, crush." Cognate with Middle Dutch cruden, Dutch kruijen "to press, push," Middle High German kroten "to press, oppress," Norwegian kryda "to crowd." Related: Crowded; crowding.
1560s, "large group of persons, multitude," from crowd (v.). The earlier word was press (n.). Crowd (n.) was used earlier in the now-archaic sense of "act of pressing or shoving" (c. 1300). From 1650s as "any group or company of persons contemplated in a mass." Crowd-pleaser is by 1924; crowd-control is by 1915; crowd-surf (v.) is by 1995; crowdsourcing (n.) is from 2006.
"a great number regarded collectively; a crowd or throng; the characteristic of being many, numerousness," early 14c., from Old French multitude (12c.) and directly from Latin multitudinem (nominative multitudo) "a great number, a crowd; the crowd, the common people," from multus "many, much" (see multi-) + suffix -tudo (see -tude). Related: Multitudes.
A multitude, however great, may be in a space so large as to give each one ample room; a throng or a crowd is generally smaller than a multitude, but is gathered into a close body, a throng being a company that presses together or forward, and a crowd carrying the closeness to uncomfortable physical contact. [Century Dictionary]
1550s, "to collect in heaps, crowd together in disorder," variant of clotern "to form clots, to heap on" (c. 1400); related to clot (n.), and perhaps influenced by cluster. Sense of "to litter, to crowd (a place) by a disorderly mass of things" is first recorded 1660s. Related: Cluttered; cluttering.
"an indefinitely large number; a crowd, many persons," Old English menigu, from a prehistoric Germanic word from the source of many (adj.). Compare Old Saxon menigi, Gothic managei "multitude, crowd," Old High German managi "large number, plurality," German Menge "multitude." The many "the multitude, the mass of people, the common herd" is attested from 1520s.
"large number, great multitude" (especially of fish), 1570s, a word of uncertain origin. It is apparently identical with Middle English scole "a troop, throng, crowd," from Old English scolu "band, troop, crowd of fish" (see school (n.2)), but it also might be a 16c. adoption of the cognate Middle Dutch schole.