press·​ing | \ˈpre-siŋ \

Definition of pressing 

1 : urgently important : critical a pressing issue

2 : earnest, warm

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from pressing

pressingly \ˈpre-​siŋ-​lē \ adverb

Examples of pressing in a Sentence

a pressing need for reform she had pressing business on the other side of town

Recent Examples on the Web

But one of the most pressing questions the release of the report has raised: Why now? Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "New Catholic sex abuse allegations show how long justice can take in a 16-year scandal," 24 Aug. 2018 The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on Wednesday released a report on how to address the most pressing problems of American agriculture. Tamar Haspel, Vox, "The public doesn’t trust GMOs. Will it trust CRISPR?," 24 July 2018 Breed, a San Francisco native, has pledged to address the city’s most pressing problems, including homeless tent camps, open drug use and unbearably high housing prices. Janie Har, USA TODAY, "London Breed to be sworn in as San Francisco's first black female mayor," 11 July 2018 Seems like everybody is talking publicly about it except metro Detroit business leaders, many of whom will gather on Michigan’s Mackinac Island this week to discuss the region’s most pressing problems. Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press, "If Detroit's leaders don't want to talk race, then talk schools," 29 May 2018 On a new website launched in the state, anyone now can look up the some of the most pressing health problems down to the ZIP code. Kaitlyn Schwers, kansascity, "Missouri health report: In the 114 counties, this problem tops the list. | The Kansas City Star," 13 Apr. 2018 Bacow will be uniquely positioned to do so as the leader of one of the nation’s richest and most influential universities, with a bullhorn to address the pressing challenges facing all of higher education. Laura Krantz,, "Lawrence Bacow promises a more outward-looking Harvard," 1 July 2018 His departure will take a huge load off the wage bill in South Wales, which is the most pressing matter at the moment., "No Swanning Around: Why Playing Hardball Could Come Back to Haunt Swansea This Summer," 23 June 2018 Further action would only be a waste of public resources and divert the general public's attention away from more pressing matters in our region. Mark Naymik,, "Read Cleveland Amazon document released by planning agency: Mark Naymik," 11 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pressing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of pressing

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pressing

Statistics for pressing

Last Updated

27 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pressing

The first known use of pressing was in 1591

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pressing



English Language Learners Definition of pressing

: very important and needing immediate attention


press·​ing | \ˈpre-siŋ \

Kids Definition of pressing

: needing immediate attention We have pressing business.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on pressing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pressing

Spanish Central: Translation of pressing

Nglish: Translation of pressing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pressing for Arabic Speakers

Comments on pressing

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


having a pattern of small flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!