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.