Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    The seizure of seamen for naval service.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    A power possessed by the English crown of taking persons or property to aid in the defense of the country, with of without the consent of the persons concerned. It is usually exercised to obtain hands for the royal ships in time of war, , by inking seamen engaged in merchant vessels, (1 Bl. Comm. 420; Maud & P. Shipp. 123;) but in former times impressment of merchant ships was also practiced. The admiralty issues protections against impressment in certain cases, either under statutes passed in favor of certain callings (e. g., persons employed in the Greenland fisheries) or voluntarily. Sweet.