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  1. beachboy's Avatar
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    #1

    dragnet

    Can the word "dragnet" ever be used to refer to a group of criminals that attack many people at the same time, for example, on the beach or in a restaurant? The dictionaries say it refers to policemen, but I was wondering if, in everyday American or British English, it is possible.

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    #2

    Re: dragnet

    If you say "Dragnet" most Americans will think of a TV show from the 1960s, or the movie based on the series from the 1980s. Other than that, the word is not in common use and certainly does not refer to a gang of criminals.

  2. beachboy's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: dragnet

    Shall I say "gang robbers"?

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: dragnet

    Quote Originally Posted by beachboy View Post
    Shall I say "gang robbers"?
    "A gang of robbers" is possible.

  4. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: dragnet

    A group of thugs that swarms a restaurant or beach area is usually called a "gang" or "mob." A "dragnet" is a police term referring to the cops employing a very systematic search in order to find a criminal.

    And, as Dave mentioned, Dragnet was also a very popular 1960s TV show, one of my favorites to this day. Jack Webb, the show's creator and star, was often mocked for his deadpan, monotonous manner of speaking, but it did make him sound like a dedicated, serious police officer. Here's an example, and also a good reminder to always wear your seatbelt!

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    #6

    Re: dragnet

    Quote Originally Posted by beachboy View Post
    Can the word "dragnet" ever be used to refer to a group of criminals that attack many people at the same time, for example, on the beach or in a restaurant? The dictionaries say it refers to policemen, but I was wondering if, in everyday American or British English, it is possible.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    (1) As Moderator Quisch and Soothing Dave said, "Dragnet" was a popular crime drama TV show. I hear that

    the Los Angeles Police Department liked that

    show, for "Dragnet" always showed the LAPD in a favorable light. People in the

    United States who watched the show got a very positive impression of the LAPD.

    (Of course, many people in Los Angeles did not share that opinion.)

    (2) As the moderator said, the word is usually used in a sentence such as:

    The police have put out a dragnet for the bad guy. (Every effort will made to

    catch him.)

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