press gang

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press gang

also press·gang (prĕs′găng′)
n.
A company of men under an officer detailed to force men into military or naval service.

press gang

n
(Historical Terms) (formerly) a detachment of men used to press civilians for service in the navy or army
vb (tr)
1. (Historical Terms) to force (a person) to join the navy or army by a press gang
2. to induce (a person) to perform a duty by forceful persuasion: his friends press-ganged him into joining the committee.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.press gang - a detachment empowered to force civilians to serve in the army or navy
detachment - a small unit of troops of special composition
References in periodicals archive ?
One ship intercepted off Ireland by a British frigate in 1820 was left to proceed as emigrants from Wales were never seen as a threat to the Crown after the Anglo-American War of 1812 caused by British ships press-ganging US seamen on the high seas.
Press-ganging local residents into turning up with the lure of free alcohol is desperate enough, but the "guests of honour" on Thursday are her parents Ed and Alison.
THE local BBC habit of seemingly press-ganging whoever's in the canteen to go on the TV has to stop.