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
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

Many companies’ increases are relatively modest this year, amid growing public and political pressure on the industry over prices. Jared S. Hopkins, WSJ, "Drugmakers Raise Prices on Hundreds of Medicines," 1 Jan. 2019 All that attention somehow led to me putting a ton of pressure on myself to always have my home looking spotless and beautiful. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Joanna Gaines Gets Real About the Pressure to Keep a ‘Perfect’ Home While Raising Kids," 11 Nov. 2018 Typically, massive files can take a while to write to disk due to caching issues, but the 860 Evo was a champ under pressure. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "How low can our favorite SSD for most people, Samsung's 860 Evo, go? 256GB for $58," 17 Sep. 2018 Still, cracks happen, whether because of pressure or the natural settling of the house. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Concrete Countertops: Is the Home Trend All It's Cracked up to Be?," 12 Dec. 2018 In the second year of the Bush presidency, responding to implacable pressures from the Reagan and Bush administrations, the Soviet Union imploded. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Read Brian Mulroney's Moving Eulogy at George H.W. Bush's Funeral," 5 Dec. 2018 So with pressure to heed to the president’s demands, the House passed a different funding bill Thursday, with only Republican support, that included $5.7 billion for the wall, that is stuck in the Senate. Tara Golshan, Vox, "This could be a really long government shutdown," 21 Dec. 2018 There’s a pressure to keep up with everyone, post more than anyone, and be seen by people all the time. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Kylie Jenner returned as online queen in 2018 after disappearing for nearly a year," 21 Dec. 2018 That means more consistent inflation pressures during a race as the tires heat up. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Should You Really Put Nitrogen in Your Car Tires?," 19 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The hedge fund has been pressuring MDC to make executive changes for some time and likewise told the company that its board needed to be remade, according to a filing FrontFour made in November. Suzanne Vranica, WSJ, "Activist Investor Launches Fight for Board Seats at MDC Partners," 2 Jan. 2019 Dever also said a jury should decide whether Benjamin resigned as headmaster of the New Bern school or was pressured into quitting. Emery P. Dalesio, The Seattle Times, "Lawsuit continues against novelist Sparks, school he started," 19 Nov. 2018 That’s why Cohen, alongside CEO Susan Wojcicki and head of business Robert Kyncl, have published blog posts asking creators to band together and pressure the EU into not passing the directive. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "YouTube’s head of music warns that EU’s Article 13 is detrimental to remixes, fan videos," 1 Nov. 2018 But Horst Seehofer, the leader of the Christian Social Democrats, whose threat to resign pressured Ms. Merkel into accepting the deal, appeared not to be waiting for his coalition partner’s approval. New York Times, "Austria Could Be the Next E.U. Country to Tighten Its Borders," 3 July 2018 Two federation officials told the AP that teammates pressured Salah into attending a banquet hosted by Kadyrov for Egypt’s World Cup squad. Washington Post, "Salah calls for change after Egypt’s poor World Cup," 2 July 2018 Attorneys for Michelle Carter, who was sentenced last summer to 15 months in jail for pressuring her boyfriend into taking his own life, filed papers with the state’s highest court on Friday appealing her conviction for involuntary manslaughter. Jeremy C. Fox, BostonGlobe.com, "Michelle Carter’s attorneys appeal her conviction for involuntary manslaughter," 1 July 2018 Hogan’s Democratic rivals had been pressuring the governor to take action over the border crisis, as other governors from both parties have. Erin Cox, baltimoresun.com, "Citing family separation policy, Maryland Gov. Hogan calls back small National Guard contingent from border," 19 June 2018 That crush of new supply is expected to pressure rent growth, especially for owners of older office buildings that will be hard-pressed to compete with amenities at the newer properties, analysts said. Keiko Morris, WSJ, "Growing Glut of Office Supply to Pressure Rents Next Year," 18 Dec. 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

9 Jan 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)

: 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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