Historical a group of men who round up other men and force them into naval or military service
Origin of press gangfor prest gang: see press
- Historical to force (someone) into naval or military service by means of a press gang
- to force (someone) to do something
A company of men under an officer detailed to force men into military or naval service.
transitive verbpress-ganged, press-gang·ing, press-gangs
- To force into military or naval service.
- To force or coerce: “press-ganging a consumer into buying something he doesn't want” (Feona McEwan).
- A body of men employed to force others into military or naval service.
(third-person singular simple present press-gangs, present participle press-ganging, simple past and past participle press-ganged)
- To force men into military or naval service.
- To coerce somebody into doing something that they are reluctant to do.