pressure

noun
pres·​sure | \ ˈpre-shər How to pronounce pressure (audio) \

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
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 How to pronounce pressuring (audio) \

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

Relaxis is a vibration pad that goes under the legs, and Restiffic is a pressure wrap that goes around the legs or feet. Kristin Auble, SELF, "9 Facts to Know About Restless Legs Syndrome," 16 Mar. 2019 Social pressure and the economic promise of a four-year university degree remain strong, especially among graduating high school students. Chuck Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The State of American Trade Schools," 13 Mar. 2019 The storm is set to bring Hurricane-like conditions with strong wind gusts, heavy snow, and dangerously low air pressure, according to CNN. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "A Bomb Cyclone Will Slam 70 Million People Across the U.S. Because Winter Just Won't Quit," 13 Mar. 2019 Unlike the 2000s, there’s less of a zest for fashion police, and there’s also less pressure to favor a particular trend merely because everybody else is. Anne T. Donahue, Glamour, "Low-Rise Jeans Are Coming Back—And That's OK," 18 Jan. 2019 Otherwise the resulting champagne will either be too flat, or too much pressure will cause the bottle to explode. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "The secret to champagne’s universal appeal is the physics of bubbles," 31 Dec. 2018 Doug Gollan was under intense personal and professional pressure in January 2002. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Stories of IRL Eloise: People Who Live in Hotels," 30 Nov. 2018 The new claim published by the Sabah newspaper, through which Turkish security officials have leaked much information about the case, puts more pressure on Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to Khashoggi. Fox News, "Newspaper says Turkey has audio of Saudi writer's slaying," 14 Oct. 2018 In 2012, she was diagnosed with celiac disease, which limited her ability to take on high-pressure acting rules. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "Who Is Jennifer Esposito, 'NCIS' Actor and Bradley Cooper's Ex-Wife?," 26 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ryan Hunter-Reay pressured him hard most of the day, and if Newgarden had slipped even a little, the Andretti Autosport star would have been there to pounce. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Newgarden strikes back at Road America ... the sequel better than the original," 24 June 2018 The Bulls pressured the Jazz defensively and drove the lane on Gobert without fear after losing 146-109 to Golden State on Friday. Matthew Coles, The Seattle Times, "Mitchell’s 34 points push Jazz past Bulls, 110-102," 12 Jan. 2019 The Justice Department had pressured Time Warner to sell Turner Broadcasting, which includes the cable news operation CNN, or other segments of the business, which both companies resisted. CBS News, "Justice Department appeals judge's approval of AT&T-Time Warner merger," 12 July 2018 Conservative groups have pressured him to launch a bid for speaker to replace Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), who is not running for reelection. Elise Viebeck, Washington Post, "Public relations campaign ramps up in support of Rep. Jim Jordan as he battles Ohio State allegations," 10 July 2018 Yet presidents have long pressured its top producer Saudi Arabia to adjust oil production policies, usually to lower gasoline prices. Mohammed Sergie, Bloomberg.com, "Trump Tweets, Saudis Scramble: Here's How the U.S. Steers OPEC," 1 July 2018 Consumers have successfully pressured companies to pull sexist toys, clothes, and ads. Rhaina Cohen, The New Republic, "What the 1990s Got Wrong," 29 June 2018 Apparently, the Phillies were pressuring them to let me out, and there was a lot of politics involved. Kevin Mulligan, Philly.com, "From the archives: Why Phillies pitcher Curt Simmons missed the 1950 World Series is hard to fathom today," 26 June 2018 Police pressured the investigators into signing documents stating that their actions caused the Huajian Group a financial loss — which could give Chinese authorities ongoing leverage, according to China Labor Watch founder Li Qiang. Erika Kinetz, chicagotribune.com, "Men who investigated Ivanka Trump's China shoe suppliers released on bail," 26 June 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

20 Mar 2019

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)

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

pressure

noun
pres·​sure | \ ˈpre-shər How to pronounce pressure (audio) \

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 How to pronounce pressure (audio) \

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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