Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.

chain gang

a group of convicts chained together, especially when working outside.
Origin of chain gang
First recorded in 1825-35 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for chain gang
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He erected a house on the ground: this a chain gang was employed to destroy.

  • And I discover she is entertaining a convict who escaped from a chain gang.

    Dust of the Desert Robert Welles Ritchie
  • In some states they put them in a chain gang or jail too, when they catch them.

    Ticktock and Jim Keith Robertson
  • Sadler said nothing, but looked down at the chain gang below.

    The Belted Seas Arthur Colton
  • Sadler turned away, depressed, and looked at the chain gang in the Plaza.

    The Belted Seas Arthur Colton
  • I spent two months in the chain gang; then they sold me south.

    The Blind Lion of the Congo Elliott Whitney
  • The other didn't say, but quick intuition told her that son had gone to the chain gang.

    The Forged Note Oscar Micheaux
  • I'm going to send that dad of yours to the chain gang tomorrow—and you know what that means.

    The Forged Note Oscar Micheaux
  • This in course of time caused such indignation that the practice of putting men-of-warsmen in the chain gang was discontinued.

British Dictionary definitions for chain gang

chain gang

(US) a group of convicted prisoners chained together, usually while doing hard labour
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for chain gang

chain gang

noun phrase

The football officials who carry and set the chain that marks off the ten yards needed for a first down (1980s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for chain gang

Word Value for chain

Scrabble Words With Friends