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chain gang

noun
1.
a group of convicts chained together, especially when working outside.
Origin of chain gang
1825-1835
First recorded in 1825-35
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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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

noun
1.
(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
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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.
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Difficulty index for chain gang

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for chain

10
11
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