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1. The act or policy of seizing persons and compelling them to serve in the military, especially in naval forces.
2. The act or policy of seizing property for public use, especially for military purposes.
3. The act of imposing a constructive trust or a lien upon property, as a matter of equity, to protect a person without legal title but with a legally recognized interest.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the commandeering or conscription of things or men into government service
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ɪmˈprɛs mənt)

the act of impressing people or property into public service or use.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.impressment - the act of coercing someone into government service
seizure - the taking possession of something by legal process
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
I fancied she was jealous even of the saucepan on it; and I have reason to know that she took its impressment into the service of boiling my egg and broiling my bacon, in dudgeon; for I saw her, with my own discomfited eyes, shake her fist at me once, when those culinary operations were going on, and no one else was looking.
He opened it with much impressment, assumed, of course, and showed a great bundle of white flowers.
Fear of impressment by the Royal Navy scared many fishermen away from English fishing ports, and the outbreak of a prolonged period of war marked the beginning of the end of the previously thriving migratory fishery between England and Newfoundland.
This legal complaint brought by Henry Clifton over the impressment of his son, Thomas, who was allegedly seized and detained to begin 'the base trade of a mercynary enterlude player' (2), has become a widely recognized source in the history of early modern children's performance.
The Press Gang: Naval Impressment and its Opponents in Georgian Britain.
"Early self-defense law in the Anglo-American tradition presumed that homicide--even in self-defense--required the pardon of the sovereign." (41) He quotes another scholar for the proposition that "private citizens have power to execute their judgment 'only insofar as they stand in the shoes of public officials to whom this authority belongs.'" (42) It is not the case that individuals were necessarily prevented from using their firearms to kill; rather, they had to point to some authorization from the sovereign, most commonly, impressment into the king's service in order to fight a war or embark on a religious crusade to recapture the Holy Land.
(160) Until July 1862, the penalty for not serving when drafted into the state militia for service of the United States was only pecuniary, "with limited imprisonment for non-payment." (161) The Militia Act of July 17, 1862, changed this by authorizing impressment into military service of the United States those persons drafted from state militias under the Act.
These projects relied on an influx of French migrant labour to coastal towns as well as the impressment of prisoner-labourers attached to the bagnes.
While impressment, as Denver Brunsman points out, "helped to unite Britain and its Atlantic colonial territories in a common system of maritime defense," in using "impressment to sustain its empire, the British states nearly destroyed it" (2013, 2, 3).
Congress declared war against the British Empire in 1812 to stop the impressment of sailors on American ships, to maintain the rights of neutral trade, and to stop perceived British support for Native Americans then violently opposing western settlement.
The 1796 act was designed to protect American sailors from impressment by foreign navies, especially the British navy.
Maritime issues--including impressment of American sailors and the seizure of American ships--along with Indian depredations, land expansion, national honor, and liberal anxiety have all served as explanations for the origin of the war.