chain gang


Definition of chain gang

: a gang 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 In the first half of their 34-20 loss to the Super Bowl champion Chiefs, Sam Koch (three punts) was almost as busy as the chain gang (five Ravens first downs). Jonas Shaffer,, "After a bad night, Ravens offense is looking for a new day vs. Washington," 2 Oct. 2020 Komie once had a client who had escaped a chain gang 25 years earlier and the governor declined to send him back to Mississippi. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Kenosha shooting suspect Kyle Rittenhouse's extradition is the subject of a Friday court hearing in Illinois," 25 Sep. 2020 All were fined as much as $20 (equivalent to $617.82 in 2020) or 30 days on a chain gang. Patricia Sullivan, Washington Post, "In a summer of racial protests, Alexandria remembers a young lynching victim," 7 Aug. 2020 Even though Schuster, in his trucker hat and sunglasses, looks more like a chain gang supervisor than a winemaker, business has been excellent. Michael Alberty | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Portland’s Jackalope Cellars adapts to crisis, offering curbside wine pickup out of the back of a pickup truck," 5 May 2020 Fire rescue staff and deputies stood shoulder to shoulder and clustered in groups, as did a chain gang of half a dozen inmates wearing striped jumpsuits, orange trucker hats and chains clanking around their ankles. Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon, USA TODAY, "A Florida sheriff held a parade where robots handed out candy, but was it really safe?," 27 Mar. 2020 Students felt the shackles worn by chain gang members. NBC News, "Students hope performance brings changes to prison system," 12 Nov. 2019 In 1960, Jones chose to spend 30 days in jail on a chain gang rather than be bailed out. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "Civil Rights Activist J. Charles Jones Has Died at 82," 13 Jan. 2020 Luke, adapted for the screen by Donn Pearce and Frank R. Pierson from Pearce's novel of comradeship and individual conflict on a southern chain gang, is the product of Jack Lemmon's Jalem Productions and is a potentially strong release. John Mahoney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Cool Hand Luke': THR's 1967 Review," 31 Oct. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of chain gang

1830, 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 1830

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Cite this Entry

“Chain gang.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for chain gang

chain gang


English Language Learners Definition of chain gang

: a group of prisoners who are chained together while they do work outside the prison

chain gang


Legal Definition of chain gang

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

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