im·​press·​ment im-ˈpres-mənt How to pronounce impressment (audio)
: the act of seizing for public use or of impressing into public service

Examples of impressment in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In fact, by the late summer of 1812, the British had eliminated the orders in council, leaving impressment as the only unresolved issue of any consequence. Foreign Affairs, 31 Oct. 2012 The crew was a combustible mix of regular sailors, marines and impressed crewmen — impressment being a kind of slavery wherein men were kidnapped and forced to serve for an indefinite period. Mary Ann Gwinn, Los Angeles Times, 14 Apr. 2023 Jefferson’s accession to the presidency coincided with demands for higher payments and the impressment of a U.S. Navy frigate, the USS George Washington, by the Dey of Algiers as a courier vessel. John Yoo, National Review, 15 Jan. 2020 These distinctive tattoos were then recorded in their personal Seamen’s Protection Certificates, which were used as identification and to help stave off impressment. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian, 28 Feb. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'impressment.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1787, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of impressment was in 1787

Dictionary Entries Near impressment

Cite this Entry

“Impressment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

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