pressure

noun
pres·sure | \ ˈpre-shər \

Definition of pressure 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the burden of physical or mental distress

b : the constraint of circumstance : the weight of social or economic imposition

2 : the application of force to something by something else in direct contact with it : compression

3 archaic : impression, stamp

4a : 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

5 : the stress or urgency of matters demanding attention : exigency people who work well under pressure

6 : the force of selection that results from one or more agents and tends to reduce a population of organisms population pressure predation pressure

7 : the pressure exerted in every direction by the weight of the atmosphere

8 : a sensation aroused by moderate compression of a body part or surface

pressure

verb
pressured; pressuring\ˈpre-sh(ə-)riŋ \

Definition of pressure (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to apply pressure to

3 : to cook in a pressure cooker

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Other words from pressure

Noun

pressureless adjective

Examples of pressure in a Sentence

Noun

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

Verb

his father pressured him to go out for the swim team
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The pressure is a little less considering her low number Saturday for an 11-under 208 total. Gene Chamberlain, chicagotribune.com, "Laura Davies shoots 66 to take U.S. Senior Women's Open lead at Chicago Golf Club," 14 July 2018 SportsPulse: Fox Sports contributor Grant Wahl previews the World Cup final between France and Croatia, and why all the pressure is on Croatia's golden generation to pull off the historic upset. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "World Cup final predictions: Will France or Croatia lift the trophy?," 13 July 2018 But Barkley said that — given the immense pressure on lawmakers to raise significant revenue and the goal of health advocates for an increase in the cigarette tax of at least $1 a pack — tobacco companies were a winner with the final tax bill. Tom Loftus, The Courier-Journal, "A GOP group influential in Kentucky is funded by tobacco and casinos," 13 July 2018 Afghan security forces, which number 195,000 soldiers and more than 150,000 police, have struggled to combat the insurgency. The pressure is on to get some sort of peace process off the ground. Washington Post, "Peace in Afghanistan more elusive as Taliban shrug off talks," 11 July 2018 The pressure is on to get some sort of peace process off the ground. Rahim Faiez, Fox News, "Peace in Afghanistan more elusive as Taliban shrug off talks," 11 July 2018 With three sophomores in the lineup that didn’t stop the Panthers from producing 10 hits in keeping the pressure on Crystal Lake South. Paul Johnson, Aurora Beacon-News, "Jason Crafton better than fair, but ‘fluky’ second inning dooms Oswego in summer baseball regional semifinals," 11 July 2018 Heavy rainfalls prompted the Corps to release millions of gallons of water from the lake in order to relieve pressure on an old dam, according to Manuel Bojorquez of CBS News. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "A Toxic Algal Bloom Is Spreading in Florida’s Waterways," 10 July 2018 Doubling up: The pressure was on Mid-American points leader Matt Clemens. Tony Baranek, Daily Southtown, "Ice in his veins: From skates to racing shoes, John Senerchia travels the fast track to success at Grundy Speedway," 7 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ronan recently appeared in a video supporting the reproductive rights campaign—a long-growing grassroots movement that finally succeeded in pressuring the government to hold a referendum—and everyone is talking about it. Jamie Hawkesworth, Vogue, "Saoirse Ronan on Growing Up on Camera, the Changing Politics of Ireland, and Becoming a Queen," 11 July 2018 The president's comments on China appeared to reflect concern that U.S. imposition of punitive tariffs on Chinese imports last week could make China less cooperative in pressuring the North over its nuclear and missile programs. Fox News, "Trump says he's still confident Kim will denuclearize," 10 July 2018 Some analysts suggested the car tariffs are intended to pressure Mexico into renegotiating the NAFTA trade pact. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "GM Warns Trump Administration That Tariffs May Lead to Lost Jobs and Lower Wages," 29 June 2018 On the left, a constellation of groups is planning to pressure moderate-leaning Republicans and red-state Democrats through a mix of television and digital advertising, as well as grass-roots advocacy. Sheryl Gay Stolberg And Jonathan Martin, BostonGlobe.com, "Conservative and liberal groups gird for battle over Kavanaugh," 11 July 2018 On the left, a constellation of groups is planning to pressure moderate-leaning Republicans and red-state Democrats through a mix of television and digital advertising, as well as grass-roots advocacy. Jonathan Martin, New York Times, "Conservative and Liberal Groups Gird for Battle Over Kavanaugh," 10 July 2018 Democrats have turned their attention to pressuring two Republicans, Sens. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "Trump picks Kavanaugh for court, setting up fight with Dems," 10 July 2018 Democrats have turned their attention to pressuring two Republicans, Sens. The Christian Science Monitor, "Trump nominates GOP favorite Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court," 10 July 2018 Democrats have turned their attention to pressuring two Republicans, Sens. Catherine Lucey, Zeke Miller And Mark Sherman, Houston Chronicle, "Trump picks Kavanaugh for court, setting up fight with Dems," 10 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of pressure

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1938, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pressure

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin pressura, from Latin, action of pressing, pressure, from pressus, past participle of premere

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Statistics for pressure

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pressure

The first known use of pressure was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for pressure

pressure

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pressure

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

pressure

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pressure (Entry 2 of 2)

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

pressure

noun
pres·sure | \ ˈpre-shər \

Kids Definition of pressure

1 : the action of pushing steadily against

2 : a force or influence that cannot be avoided social pressure

3 : the force with which one body presses against another

4 : the need to get things done Mom works well under pressure.

pressure

noun
pres·sure | \ ˈpresh-ər \

Medical Definition of pressure 

1 : the burden of mental or physical distress especially from grief, illness, or adversity

2 : the application of force to something by something else in direct contact with it : compression

3a : 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

6 : a touch sensation aroused by moderate compression of the skin

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Comments on pressure

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