impressment


im·press·ment

noun \im-ˈpres-mənt\

Definition of IMPRESSMENT

:  the act of seizing for public use or of impressing into public service

First Known Use of IMPRESSMENT

1787

Rhymes with IMPRESSMENT

impressment

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Enforcement of military or naval service on unwilling men. Until the early 19th century, it flourished in port towns everywhere, as “recruiters” searched through waterfront boardinghouses, brothels, and taverns. They often chose vagabonds or prisoners. Impressed men were forced into service through violence or coercion and were held to their duty by brutal discipline. In the early 19th century, Royal Navy ships halting U.S. vessels to search for British deserters frequently impressed naturalized U.S. citizens, one cause of the War of 1812. Impressment declined in the 19th century as states adopted more systematic recruiting methods. See also conscription.

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: impressure
Previous Word in the Dictionary: impressive
All Words Near: impressment

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up impressment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).