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

Factories have shifted into low gear after a year of record output and big job gains, putting additional pressure on a U.S. economy that already is expected to grow more slowly this year. Patrick Mcgroarty, WSJ, "Factories Throttle Back, Pressuring U.S. Economy," 9 June 2019 Lantern Entertainment — now part of Gary Barber's Spyglass — bought assets for $289 million, far less than insiders had hoped, putting pressure on insurers to cover legal claims. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Weinstein Civil Suits: A Rather Unsettled $44 Million Settlement," 7 June 2019 The People’s Vote campaign has been putting enormous pressure on Mr Corbyn to make Labour a Remain party that campaigns vigorously for a second referendum. The Economist, "Labour holds Peterborough, slowing the Brexit Party’s momentum," 7 June 2019 The Trump administration has been putting pressure on China for months, but tensions increased last month when negotiators failed to reach a deal and the administration raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. Nelson D. Schwartz, New York Times, "A Weak Jobs Report Poses a New Challenge to Trump: A Slowing Economy," 7 June 2019 And that puts pressure on employers to create not only robust compensation and benefit packages, but to create a sense of loyalty in a competitive labor market. Ivana Hrynkiw | Ihrynkiw@al.com, al.com, "UAB’s Viva Health named in national list of top places to work," 6 June 2019 Being a net borrower that runs trade deficits will put tremendous pressure on its savings and reserves. Therese Shaheen, National Review, "China’s ‘New Long March’," 5 June 2019 Lamont said increasing venture capital interest among women and putting pressure on partnerships to think more consciously about narrowing the gender gap could help forge a better path forward. Renee Morad, NBC News, "Investor Annie Lamont on narrowing the gender gap in venture capital," 5 June 2019 But regulators began to worry tech firms were putting too much pressure on the income of traditional banks. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Why Cash Is Quickly Disappearing From China's Economy—Data Sheet," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

If students finish treatment and go back to their old school or another traditional high school, they may be pressured by other students to return to old habits, Durchslag said. Katrina Pross, Twin Cities, "At this Minneapolis high school graduation, U.S. drug czar heralds ‘the power of recovery’," 5 June 2019 There have also been reports that parents are being pressured into abandoning asylum claims and agreeing to immediate deportation to reunite with their children. Mike Hixenbaugh, Houston Chronicle, "Protests continue as Trump administration moves to reunite separated families," 24 June 2018 Gold prices fell Tuesday, pressured by an ebb in trade fears. Ira Iosebashvili, WSJ, "Gold Prices Drop on Lessened Trade Fears," 21 May 2019 Advertising Abdelaziz Bouteflika was forced to resign April 2, pressured by protests that began Feb. 22, and clinched when the powerful army chief firmly reiterated the demand. Nadine Achoui-lesage, The Seattle Times, "Clashes mar peaceful protests as Algerians march anew," 12 Apr. 2019 On the flip side though, Elizabeth was getting pressured by her husband to take his last name. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Why Queen Elizabeth II's Last Name Sparked A Lot of Drama With Prince Philip," 4 Feb. 2019 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV settled a lawsuit brought by an Illinois dealership group that accused the auto maker of pressuring it to manipulate monthly vehicle sales reports. Adrienne Roberts, WSJ, "Fiat Chrysler Settles Dealer Lawsuit Over Sales Reporting," 5 Apr. 2019 Trump imposed the penalties over complaints Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology. Joe Mcdonald, The Seattle Times, "US, China resume trade talks in Washington ahead of deadline," 19 Feb. 2019 Avoid agencies that pressure you into taking their courses. Danielle Fox, Seventeen, "Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Model?," 17 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

12 Jun 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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