pressure

1 of 2

noun

pres·​sure ˈpre-shər How to pronounce pressure (audio)
1
a
: 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
4
a
: 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
pressureless adjective

pressure

2 of 2

verb

pressured; pressuring ˈpre-sh(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce pressure (audio)

transitive verb

1
: to apply pressure to
2
3
: to cook in a pressure cooker

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
President Biden ramped up the pressure on both sides last week to secure a deal. Shira Rubin, Washington Post, 10 Apr. 2024 As the pressures of head-to-head competition for a championship crown weigh heavy, the three put fierce rivalries aside and discover how the power of friendship can unlock even greater success in and out of the water. Leo Barraclough, Variety, 10 Apr. 2024 And after significant pressure on industry from President Biden, labor unions, and our department, approximately 89% of Class I freight railroad workers now have paid sick days, up from less than 5% around a little more than a year ago. Pete Buttigieg, TIME, 10 Apr. 2024 Such efforts are increasingly urgent as climate change exacerbates droughts in many parts of the world, including Mexico City, putting ever more pressure on groundwater supplies. Matt Simon, WIRED, 10 Apr. 2024 Talks preconditions China’s pressure tactics are intended to nudge Taiwan’s incoming Lai administration toward a more accommodating political stance toward China, said Amanda Hsiao, senior China analyst for the International Crisis Group. Nectar Gan, CNN, 10 Apr. 2024 It’s been lower in the Northeast and Midwest, with many residents leaving those areas, easing cost pressures. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, 9 Apr. 2024 Wall Street Journal Best Buy has laid off several Geek Squad employees after the company hinted at layoffs in a February earnings call, citing business pressures and inflation. Emma Burleigh, Fortune, 9 Apr. 2024 Why would anyone use these seemingly impractical poles that only added chaos when hiking? Turns out there are a lot of reasons, from increasing stability to alleviating pressure from knees and joints to achieving a full-body workout. Tiney Ricciardi, The Denver Post, 8 Apr. 2024
Verb
Israeli authorities insist that the bottlenecks are a result of failures by the United Nations and NGOs, while critics accuse Israel of using food as a tool to pressure Gaza’s population and Hamas. Ahmed Fouad Alkhatib, The Atlantic, 10 Apr. 2024 California Democrats, Biden pressure Israel for Gaza ceasefire after aid worker killings, via Gillian Brassil and David Lightman. Andrew Sheeler, Sacramento Bee, 10 Apr. 2024 The Trump administration instead reimposed old sanctions and added new ones in an unsuccessful unilateral attempt to pressure Tehran. Joby Warrick, Washington Post, 10 Apr. 2024 Surround yourself with people who enlighten you, but don’t buy into or pay for someone pressuring you for a financial contribution. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, 9 Apr. 2024 Using strong arm tactics to pressure two fans who are in the middle of what should have been a great moment? Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 8 Apr. 2024 The United States is pressuring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government over the rising number of civilian deaths in Gaza. David Jackson, USA TODAY, 7 Apr. 2024 Lizzo's Instagram statement comes amid two lawsuits In August, Lizzo was sued for allegedly pressuring and weight shaming her former dancers. Kimi Robinson, USA TODAY, 30 Mar. 2024 And just this February, students at the University of Waterloo pressured its administration to remove vending machines secretly embedded with facial analysis technology. Jason Del Rey, Fortune, 29 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pressure.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

1938, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near pressure

Cite this Entry

“Pressure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pressure. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

pressure

1 of 2 noun
pres·​sure ˈpresh-ər How to pronounce pressure (audio)
1
: a force or influence that cannot be avoided
social pressure
2
: the application of force to something by something else in direct contact with it
keep steady pressure on the gas pedal
3
a
: the action of a force against an opposing force
b
: the force applied over a surface divided by its area
c
: the force exerted as a result of the weight of the atmosphere
4
: the stress or burden of matters demanding attention
works well under pressure

pressure

2 of 2 verb
pressured; pressuring ˈpresh-(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce pressure (audio)
1
: to apply pressure to
2

Medical Definition

pressure

noun
pres·​sure ˈpresh-ər How to pronounce pressure (audio)
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
3
a
: 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
4
5
6
: a touch sensation aroused by moderate compression of the skin

More from Merriam-Webster on pressure

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