noun \ˈpre-shər\

: the weight or force that is produced when something presses or pushes against something else

: the action of pressing or pushing against something

: the weight of the air in the Earth's atmosphere

Full Definition of PRESSURE

a :  the burden of physical or mental distress
b :  the constraint of circumstance :  the weight of social or economic imposition
:  the application of force to something by something else in direct contact with it :  compression
archaic :  impression, stamp
a :  the action of a force against an opposing force
b :  the force or thrust exerted over a surface divided by its area
c :  electromotive force
:  the stress or urgency of matters demanding attention :  exigency <people who work well under pressure>
:  the force of selection that results from one or more agents and tends to reduce a population of organisms <population pressure> <predation pressure>
:  the pressure exerted in every direction by the weight of the atmosphere
:  a sensation aroused by moderate compression of a body part or surface
pres·sure·less adjective

Examples of PRESSURE

  1. Apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding.
  2. the pressure of the compressed air inside the chamber
  3. The animal's jaws can exert a pressure of more than 750 pounds per square inch.
  4. The horse will respond to the slightest pressure of a rider's knee.
  5. The fruit yields to gentle pressure when it's ripe.
  6. the normal air pressure at sea level
  7. He gave in to the social pressures to act and dress like everybody else.
  8. She felt a constant pressure to earn more money.

Origin of PRESSURE

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin pressura, from Latin, action of pressing, pressure, from pressus, past participle of premere
First Known Use: 14th century



: to use pressure to force or try to force (someone) to do something

pres·suredpres·sur·ing \ˈpre-sh(ə-)riŋ\

Full Definition of PRESSURE

transitive verb
:  to apply pressure to
:  to cook in a pressure cooker

Examples of PRESSURE

  1. <his father pressured him to go out for the swim team>

First Known Use of PRESSURE



noun \ˈpresh-ər\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of PRESSURE

: the burden of mental or physical distress especially from grief, illness, or adversity
: the application of force to something by something else in direct contact with it : compression
a : the action of a force against some opposing force : a force in the nature of a thrust distributed over a surface b : the force or thrust exerted over a surface divided by the area of the surface
: a touch sensation aroused by moderate compression of the skin


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Perpendicular force per unit area, or stress at a point within a confined fluid. A solid object exerts pressure on a floor equal to its weight divided by the area of contact. The weight of the Earth's atmosphere on the surface constitutes atmospheric pressure, which varies from place to place but always decreases with altitude. The pressure exerted by a confined gas results from the average effect of the forces produced on the walls of the container by the continual, numerous collisions by gas molecules. Hydrostatic pressure is the stress, or pressure, exerted equally in all directions at points within a confined fluid. Lithostatic pressure is the stress exerted on a body of rock in the Earth's crust by surrounding rock, which increases with depth below the surface. The SI unit of pressure is the pascal (Pa), which is equal to one newton of force per square metre.


Next Word in the Dictionary: pressure accumulator
Previous Word in the Dictionary: pressural
All Words Near: pressure

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up pressure? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).