from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To force into military or naval service.
  • transitive v. To force or coerce: "press-ganging a consumer into buying something he doesn't want” ( Feona McEwan).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A body of men employed to force others into military or naval service.
  • v. To force men into military or naval service.
  • v. To coerce somebody into doing something that they are reluctant to do.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To act as a press-gang.
  • n. A detachment under the command of an officer empowered to impress men into the public service, especially the naval service.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Are we really going to press-gang (intentional pun) our media into tasting in isolation and only when they have paid for the opportunity themselves?

    The state of Australian wine – and Landmark Australia | Dr Vino's wine blog

  • Used as press-gang hounds by the Terran Exploitations Company.

    Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror: Shadow Over Mars - Leigh Brackett

  • Not to be deterred, Andrew managed to press-gang a substitute.

    Rowing the ATLANTIC

  • From what I understand, much motivation for Taliban recruits besides the press-gang, is the fact all those Western troops are kicking around.

    Afghansitan on CBC

  • Recently Caco tried to press-gang 30 leading members of the military police, setting off a street battle between branches of the Bosnian armed forces that left one dead and several wounded.

    Crossing An Invisible Line

  • “One crew leaves, they have to press-gang another.”


  • He would have started a press-gang, but there was no superfluity of men in that township: nothing but boys and grandfathers.


  • He will never betray us; he is wonderfully grateful; and after that battle with the press-gang, when he knocked down the officer and broke his arm, he will keep pretty clear of the Union-jack.


  • Of course, he is the butt of “utter and acknowledged ignorance”, and of “the most gross and foolish statements”, and of “the unjust and dishonest”, and of “the press-gang”, and of crowds of other alien and combative adjectives, participles, and substantives.

    Contributions to All the Year Round

  • And then as they rambled on with their tales of seafaring and the press-gang and the Marquis of

    The Common Reader, Second Series


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