chain gang

noun

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

Convict Springs, which flows into the Suwannee River, was so named because in the 1900s, prison chain gangs working on road projects would set up camps there. Vincent Crampton, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Explore Florida's Lafayette County: Even scofflaws deserve to cool off," 6 May 2018 The origins of the law can be traced back to when chain gangs were common in the late 1920s. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Alabama sheriff who bought beach house after pocketing $750G from inmate food fund gets voted out," 7 June 2018 Arpaio forced his prisoners to march in pink underwear, work in chain gangs, shower in boiling-hot water, and eat rotten food (the sheriff boasted about this last point). Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Mike Pence Praises Joe Arpaio As Tireless Champion of the ‘Rule of Law’," 2 May 2018 In the mid-1990s, Fob James campaigned for a second term as governor on a law-and-order platform of school and prison reform that included support for corporal punishment and the reinstatement of chain gangs. Anna Claire Vollers, AL.com, "Paddling is legal in Alabama, but some teachers arrested for excessive force," 11 Apr. 2018 The Saints coach strives for lasers instead of the chain gang to handle down and distance (basically goodbye to index cards determining a first down). Larry Holder, NOLA.com, "Sean Payton and the red challenge flag: a hate-hate relationship," 28 Mar. 2018 Even Jughead, boy leader of a chain gang, is creeped out. refinery29.com, "Riverdale Season 2, Episode 14 Recap: "The Hills Have Eyes"," 8 Mar. 2018 These included ordering inmates to wear pink underwear, showing The Food Channel in the cafeteria (to make jest of prisoner's meals), and having prisoners work in chain gangs, including the only all-female one in the country. Isabella Gomez, Teen Vogue, "Joe Arpaio, Explained," 10 Jan. 2018 While Bob Dylan is famous for inventing a rugged background for himself, and Lennon was a middle-class suburban kid singing about chain gangs and railroads in the Quarrymen, there were plenty of stars for whom hardship was a driving force. Lavinia Greenlaw, WSJ, "Review: The Rock Stars, ‘Uncommon People’," 22 Dec. 2017

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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The first known use of chain gang was in 1830

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More Definitions for chain gang

chain gang

noun

English Language Learners Definition of chain gang

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

chain gang

noun

Legal Definition of chain gang 

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

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