\ ˈpu̇sh How to pronounce push (audio) \
pushed; pushing; pushes

Definition of push

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to press against with force in order to drive or impel
b : to move or endeavor to move away or ahead by steady pressure without striking
2a : to thrust forward, downward, or outward
b : to cause to increase : raise push prices to record levels
c : to try to move beyond or expand push one's limits
d : to hit (a ball) toward the right from a right-handed swing or toward the left from a left-handed swing — compare pull
3a : to press or urge forward to completion
b : to urge or press the advancement, adoption, or practice of pushed a bill in the legislature especially : to make aggressive efforts to sell we're pushing ham this week
c : to engage in the illicit sale of (narcotics)
4 : to bear hard upon so as to involve in difficulty poverty pushed them to the breaking point
5 : to approach in age or number grandmother must be pushing 75

intransitive verb

1 : to press against something with steady force in or as if in order to impel
2 : to press forward energetically against opposition
3 : to exert oneself continuously, vigorously, or obtrusively to gain an end pushing for higher wages
push one's luck
: to take an increasing risk



Definition of push (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a vigorous effort to attain an end : drive:
a : a military assault or offensive
b : an advance that overcomes obstacles
c : a campaign to promote a product
2 : a time for action : emergency
3a : an act of pushing : shove
b(1) : a physical force steadily applied in a direction away from the body exerting it
(2) : a nonphysical pressure : influence, urge
c : vigorous enterprise or energy
4a : an exertion of influence to promote another's interests
b : stimulation to activity : impetus
push comes to shove
: a decisive moment comes backed down when push came to shove
\ ˈpu̇sh How to pronounce PUSH (audio) \

Definition of PUSH (Entry 3 of 3)

People United to Serve Humanity

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Examples of push in a Sentence


Do you want to push the shopping cart? He slowly pushed the door open. She pushed back her chair and stood up. She pushed him aside and marched into the boss's office. He pushed her out of the way. He pushed me into the table. He was pushed off the sidewalk into the street. She pushed her wet hair back from her face. The bulldozer pushed the rubble over the edge of the pit. No matter how hard I pushed, I couldn't move the boulder.


an unprecedented push to pass stronger gun control measures
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The roots are also pushing bricks up in our driveway. Neil Sperry, ExpressNews.com, "When mondo grass attacks, put up a wall," 5 July 2019 Not only are states legislating personalized learning, but philanthropists are funding it and, in some cases, families are pushing back against it. Penny Bishop, The Conversation, "What is personalized learning and why is it so controversial? 5 questions answered," 5 July 2019 Prior to the semifinals, a streak of good fortune had temporarily pushed VAR from the headlines. Robert O'connell, The Atlantic, "The World Cup’s Instant-Replay Problem," 5 July 2019 After eight players received call-ups to the World Cup, the team has pushed forward without its big-name stars throughout the month of June. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Alanna Kennedy, Emily Van Egmond and Shelina Zadorsky return from World Cup, bolster Pride roster," 5 July 2019 Native people were pushed out of their homes, killed, and banished to the unfavorable lands in the West that were devoid of fertility and vitality. Taina Mcfield, Essence, "My True Independence Day Hasn't Arrived Yet," 4 July 2019 Substitute Shanice van de Sanden saw a late effort pushed wide by Lindahl as neither side were able to break the deadlock to send the game into extra time. SI.com, "Netherlands 1-0 Sweden: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Oranje Book Final Date With USWNT," 3 July 2019 Moon has pushed for continued diplomacy between the United States and North Korea, urging the two nations to find a mutual solution on the North Korean nuclear crisis. Fox News, "South Korea leader says Trump-Kim meeting marked 'end of hostile relations'," 3 July 2019 In addition, arrests of drunken drivers surged nearly 75 percent in the first six months of 2019, pushed by a citywide crackdown by local law enforcement, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said on Monday. Peter Dawson, Houston Chronicle, "Harris County has second highest number of traffic drunk-driver fatalities in U.S. on Fourth of July," 2 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

American and British officials openly supported the protesters and their push for democracy. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "In Sudan, a Secret Meeting and Public Rage Propelled a Power-Sharing Deal," 5 July 2019 Government lawyers say the Trump administration will continue its push to get a citizenship question on the 2020 census. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "Trump Administration Tells Court It Will Push Ahead With Efforts to Add Citizenship Question To Census," 5 July 2019 Dinelson Lamet — who could rejoin the rotation as soon as Thursday — has also pitched exclusively on five days’ rest in the minors over the last month in his push to return from Tommy John surgery. Jeff Sanders, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Padres’ young starters rolling with adjustments of unconventional rotation," 2 July 2019 The Orlando Magic received great production from veteran minimum signing Khem Birch in its playoff push. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons free agency: 5 things to watch as team uses limited funds," 29 June 2019 Seattle is an outlier, but its push is part of a broader trend to undo tough drug penalties and bolster treatment. Author: Justin Jouvenal, Anchorage Daily News, "No charges for personal drug possession: Seattle’s bold gamble to bring ‘peace’ after the war on drugs," 24 June 2019 Unfortunately, Brockhouse’s surrogates joined the candidate in his calculated push to make the media — rather than the content of the police reports — the issue. Gilbert Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Brockhouse diverted, deceived and blamed the messenger," 21 June 2019 That policy was rescinded by president Barack Obama during his push for normal relations with Havana. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "The US has a special immigration exception just for Cubans," 21 June 2019 Despite the firestorm, Netflix is accelerating its push to the region, announcing that its second Middle Eastern original, Al-Rawabi School for Girls, would launch later this year. Isabel Debre, Fortune, "Netflix's First Original Arabic Series, 'Jinn,' Stirs Up Outrage in Jordan," 21 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'push.' 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 push


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


circa 1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for push


Middle English possen, pusshen, probably from Old French pousser to exert pressure, from Latin pulsare, frequentative of pellere to drive, strike — more at felt

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Learn More about push

Dictionary Entries near push





push along

push and pull

push around

Statistics for push

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for push

The first known use of push was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for push



English Language Learners Definition of push

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to use force to move (someone or something) forward or away from you
: to go forward while using your hands, arms etc., to forcefully move people or things that are blocking you
: to force or try to force or persuade (someone) to do something



English Language Learners Definition of push (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of pushing something or someone
: a large, organized military attack
: a strong, continuous effort to get or achieve something


\ ˈpu̇sh How to pronounce push (audio) \
pushed; pushing

Kids Definition of push

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to press against with force so as to drive or move away He helped push a car out of the snow.
2 : to force forward, downward, or outward The tree is pushing its roots deep in the soil.
3 : to go or make go ahead I had to push to finish the swim.
4 : to pressure to do something or work hard at something The teacher pushed her students to succeed.



Kids Definition of push (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a sudden thrust : shove Pa gave the rotten tree a push and it fell over.
2 : a steady applying of force in a direction away from the body from which it comes We gave the car a push up the hill.

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More from Merriam-Webster on push

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for push

Spanish Central: Translation of push

Nglish: Translation of push for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of push for Arabic Speakers

Comments on push

What made you want to look up push? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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