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

Example Sentences

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
There is pressure, some of it from the little number next to the team name, some of it comes naturally because of the program’s history, and the rest is internal. Joe Arruda, Hartford Courant, 13 Jan. 2023 And, as the C.P.I. catches up with the private-sector data, there will be further downward pressure on the official figures. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 12 Jan. 2023 There is more pressure on the Cowboys here, and there is always the chance for a vintage Brady performance. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 10 Jan. 2023 Other awardees were elected officials and poll workers who sought to fairly count ballots and uphold election results amid an intense pressure campaign from Trump and his supporters to overturn them. Arkansas Online, 7 Jan. 2023 Other awardees were elected officials and poll workers who sought to fairly count ballots and uphold election results amid an intense pressure campaign from Trump and his supporters to overturn them. Yasmeen Abutaleb, Washington Post, 6 Jan. 2023 Biden's potential trip to the border coincides with a Republican pressure campaign concerning immigration as thousands of migrants anticipate the Supreme Court rescinding Title 42. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, 4 Jan. 2023 Now that the right has so fully created its own court of public opinion, there is no such pressure. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 3 Jan. 2023 The pressure campaign against McCarthy continued Tuesday night, with the conservative group Club for Growth urging its members to vote against a speaker candidate who doesn't meet its demands. Candy Woodall, USA TODAY, 2 Jan. 2023
Verb
Abbott began offering asylum seekers free passage to immigrant-friendly Democratic cities on the East Coast in April, an effort to pressure the Biden administration into cracking down at the border. Lizzie Johnson, Washington Post, 25 Dec. 2022 Abbott began offering asylum seekers free passage to immigrant-friendly Democratic cities on the East Coast in April, an effort to pressure the Biden administration into cracking down at the border. Lizzie Johnson, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Dec. 2022 Abbott began offering asylum seekers free passage to immigrant-friendly Democratic cities on the East Coast in April, an effort to pressure the Biden administration into cracking down at the border. Meryl Kornfield, Kyle Rempfer, Lizzie Johnson, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Dec. 2022 In an effort to pressure the Biden Administration to address the backlog, his organization developed a website, usvisadelays.com, to allow travelers to post the stories of their waits publicly. Zach Wichter, USA TODAY, 6 Dec. 2022 Days later, Russia invaded Ukraine, and the U.S. sanctioned Mr. Usmanov as part of its effort to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin. Rob Barry, WSJ, 25 Oct. 2022 Then-acting City Council President Mitch O’Farrell on Monday stripped De León and Councilmember Gil Cedillo of committee duties in an effort to pressure them to resign. Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Times, 19 Oct. 2022 After a relentless, and ultimately successful, effort to pressure West Virginia senator Joe Manchin into backing some version of a climate bill, Democrats are hoping to pass what they’ve risibly named the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Jack Wolfsohn, National Review, 5 Aug. 2022 For upper-echelon managers and executives, organizations pressure them to commit to longer waiting periods before starting their new job. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 29 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

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 26 Jan. 2023.

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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