chain gang

plural chain gangs

Definition of chain gang

: a group of people (such as convicts) chained together especially as an outside working party

Examples of chain gang in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Rembert was born in Georgia, worked in cotton fields as a child, spent time in jail — including for civil-rights protests against Jim Crow segregation laws — served on a chain gang and survived a lynching attempt. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 11 May 2022 Last season, the romantic tension between her character and surly local cop Jim Hopper (David Harbour) came to a head, but this season finds him in a frigid Russian prison, serving on a chain gang. Hattie Lindert,, 12 Apr. 2022 After being convicted for trespassing, nine of the men chose 30 days of hard labor on a chain gang instead of paying the $100 bail bond. Claire Thornton, USA TODAY, 3 Nov. 2021 All day with the chain gang for 30 days, feed and clothe us and everything. Claire Thornton, USA TODAY, 3 Nov. 2021 There were probably more good guys on the chain gang than bad. Winfred Rembert, The New Yorker, 3 May 2021 The white boys really turned the prison camp into a chain gang. Winfred Rembert, The New Yorker, 3 May 2021 Two men of different races, who hate each other, escape from a chain gang shackled together. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, 2 Apr. 2021 Unable to pay the fine, and with no support from those who benefitted from her bold advocacy, she was sentenced to a men’s chain gang. Ashlee Marie Preston, Harper's BAZAAR, 8 Mar. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chain gang.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of chain gang

1813, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for chain gang

Time Traveler

The first known use of chain gang was in 1813

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Dictionary Entries Near chain gang

chain fern

chain gang

chain gear

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Statistics for chain gang

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Chain gang.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for chain gang

chain gang


Legal Definition of chain gang

: a group of convicts chained together especially to work outside a prison


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