press somebody/something into service
press (someone or something) into service
To force, coerce, or pressure someone or something into fulfilling a particular function or purpose. My uncle is an ordained minister, so maybe we can press him into service for our wedding. Our van broke down just ahead of our big road trip, so our tiny sedan had to be pressed into service.
press someone or something into service
to force someone or something to serve or function. I don't think you can press him into service just yet. He isn't trained. I think that in an emergency, we could press this machine into service.
press into service
Force someone or something to perform or function, as in Can I press you into service to help people find their coats? or The funeral drew such a large crowd that more chairs were pressed into service. This idiom transfers press in the sense of "seize and force someone to serve," as seamen once were, to other activities. It was first recorded in 1871.