pres·​sur·​ize ˈpre-shə-ˌrīz How to pronounce pressurize (audio)
pressurized; pressurizing

transitive verb

: to confine the contents of under a pressure greater than that of the outside atmosphere
especially : to maintain near-normal atmospheric pressure in during high-altitude or spaceflight (as by means of a supercharger)
: to apply pressure to
: to design to withstand pressure
pressurization noun
pressurizer noun

Example Sentences

A pump is used to pressurize the fuel. The system that pressurizes the airplane's cabin failed to operate correctly. Don't let them pressurize you to do anything you don't want to do.
Recent Examples on the Web At cruising altitude — 35,000 feet — commercial airliners pressurize to the equivalent of 6,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level. Tony Dajer, Discover Magazine, 11 Feb. 2020 The towering walls are lined with sound-dampening fabric that causes your ears to pressurize and exterior noise to fall away, as though the piece is gently squeezing the ability to hear out of you. Dallas News, 26 Apr. 2022 The SteamShot is a chemical-free handheld device that uses 100 watts of power to pressurize high-heat steam that breaks down grime and gunk with targeting nozzles and eliminates 99.9% of germs—no harsh cleansers necessary, just water. Wendy Vazquez, Better Homes & Gardens, 7 Dec. 2022 It is anticipated that SpaceX will conduct at least a short-duration test firing of all 33 Raptor engines simultaneously to gain confidence in the totality of the complex plumbing to fuel and pressurize the rocket's propulsion system. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 29 Nov. 2022 In the Falcon 9, helium is the gas of choice to pressurize the propellant tank. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, 25 Oct. 2022 Most of the compressors that pressurize the gas, as well as valves and meters, tend to operate best at high capacity. Paul Roderick Gregory, WSJ, 24 Aug. 2022 One of the main challenges to ramping up production has been the cost of equipment needed to capture and pressurize carbon dioxide, as well as the logistical hurdle of transporting the material to a storage site. Los Angeles Times, 25 July 2022 But the countdown was held up, first to give engineers time to get back on schedule after delays caused by stormy weekend weather and then by trouble with fans used to pressurize the rocket's mobile launch platform. William Harwood, CBS News, 3 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pressurize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1938, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pressurize was in 1938

Dictionary Entries Near pressurize

Cite this Entry

“Pressurize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


pres·​sur·​ize ˈpresh-ə-ˌrīz How to pronounce pressurize (audio)
pressurized; pressurizing
: to maintain near-normal atmospheric pressure in
pressurize an airplane cabin
: to apply pressure to

More from Merriam-Webster on pressurize

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