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press gang

noun
1.
a body of persons under the command of an officer, formerly employed to impress others for service, especially in the navy or army.
Also, pressgang.
Origin
1685-1695
1685-95

press-gang

[pres-gang] /ˈprɛsˌgæŋ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to force (a person) into military or naval service.
2.
to coerce (a person) into taking a certain action, political stand, etc.:
to be press-ganged into endorsing a candidate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for press gang

press gang

noun
1.
(formerly) a detachment of men used to press civilians for service in the navy or army
verb (transitive)
2.
to force (a person) to join the navy or army by a press gang
3.
to induce (a person) to perform a duty by forceful persuasion: his friends press-ganged him into joining the committee
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for press gang

press-gang

n.

1690s, from press (v.2) + gang (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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7
8
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