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

Speaking of Melvin, what a treat to watch a big-league manager throw young pitchers right into the fire, instead of babying them along in no-pressure situations. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "A’s future is now with Jesus Luzardo and Sean Murphy," 13 Sep. 2019 Isaac said Schildmeyer began applying pressure to the wound and other lifesaving measures. Kevin Grasha, Cincinnati.com, "Chief: Man shot by police ignored orders to show his hands, pointed gun at officer," 12 Sep. 2019 Meanwhile, Ventimiglia reminds that Jack can handle himself in a variety of high-pressure situations. Dan Snierson, EW.com, "This Is Us stars tease what happens when Jack meets Rebecca's parents," 10 Sep. 2019 The moist air and a deep high pressure system also caused the sea surface temperature to reach 78 last Thursday at the Scripps Pier, the highest September reading ever recorded at the 103-year-old pier. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego’s weather turns cool, but the relief will be short-lived," 9 Sep. 2019 The low pressure system is located near the southern Cabo Verde Islands. Joe Mario Pedersen, orlandosentinel.com, "Tropical Storm Humberto could form from either of 2 systems in Atlantic," 6 Sep. 2019 The companies have been responding to a pressure campaign by activists seeking to change corporate policies around gun sales and open carry. Robert Langreth, Fortune, "Walgreens Joins Walmart and Kroger in Saying Open-Carry Firearms Are Not Welcome," 5 Sep. 2019 That attention to detail was evident during Auburn’s game-winning drive, when Nix displayed calm in a high-pressure situation and looked at ease in the 2-minute offense. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, "The ‘biggest plus’ to come from Auburn’s win against Oregon," 5 Sep. 2019 If sustained, the low-pressure center in a tropical storm will form the eye of a hurricane. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "How warm oceans supercharge deadly hurricanes," 4 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

With higher tariffs looming, bigger brands pressured their manufacturing partners in China to place them at the top of the queue, leaving smaller brands like Xero at a disadvantage. Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post, "Tariffs squeezing Colorado exporters and importers alike," 12 Sep. 2019 Another father said he’d been pressured by two immigration officials to drop his asylum claim early on. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego judge orders 11 separated parents can return to U.S. to pursue asylum," 4 Sep. 2019 For decades the Arabs pressured the U.S. to break with Israel or at least privately assure them that Israel was no longer the preeminent American ally in the region. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Israel’s Good and Bad New Realities," 3 Sep. 2019 Will she be buoyed by the good vibes; or pressured by the massive download of points to defend? Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "2019 U.S. Open Seed Reports," 22 Aug. 2019 Prosecutors said Carter shot several people Dec. 14, 2017, because he had felt increasingly pressured by drug dealers in his neighborhood and started his own war on drugs to stop it. Phil Davis, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore man gets two life sentences for 2017 shooting barrage that police said killed two, injured others," 21 Aug. 2019 According to 10tv, Pryor asked police to investigate in 2014, but changed her mind after being pressured by Bohonyi. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland.com, "Former Ohio State diving coach gets 4 years in prison for sexual battery," 12 Aug. 2019 Some of the protest leaders say they felt pressured by international mediators, in particular the Americans, to accept it, despite their misgivings. The Economist, "The Sudan peace deal is greeted with little excitement," 8 July 2019 She was being pressured by the Revolutionary Guard at that point to end the hunger strike. Fox News, "Husband of aid worker jailed in Iran says his wife is being used as ‘bargaining chip’," 26 June 2019

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 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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