\ ˈpu̇sh \
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 \

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

Image Ireland on Thursday moved to pull its public funds out of fossil fuels, a development that marks the most significant advance to date for a divestment campaign pushed by environmentalists worldwide. Somini Sengupta, New York Times, "Ireland Moves to Divest From Fossil Fuels," 12 July 2018 The dispute is being pushed primarily by a single individual, a climber named Dan Howitt based in Portland, Oregon. Nick Heil, Outside Online, "Are Kilian Jornet's Speed Records Too Good to Be True?," 12 July 2018 Surveillance photos allegedly show Lawrence Foxx leaving the Walmart on Collins Hill Road with boxes of work boots, which were pushed by his daughter in a cart. Zachary Hansen, ajc, "Police: Man had 11-year-old daughter steal boots from Gwinnett Walmart," 12 July 2018 But if products are being pushed onto parents by physicians, parents deserve unbiased information about those products. Heidi Stevens, chicagotribune.com, "Why did the U.S. try to block a breastfeeding resolution, and what do we do about it?," 11 July 2018 Republicans were stunned when Justice David Souter, who was pushed by then-White House chief of staff John Sununu and nominated by President George H.W. Bush, took much more liberal views than had been expected. Christopher Keating, courant.com, "What Would Overturning Roe V. Wade Mean For Abortion Access In Connecticut?," 11 July 2018 During the same period, child labor laws and pension benefits, pushed for by unions and liberal reformers, created new classes of non-workers in teenagers and retirees. Livia Gershon, Longreads, "Clocking Out," 11 July 2018 The prime minister’s plan for a soft Brexit was pushed forward by May at a Cabinet meeting at her countryside residence on Friday. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Britain’s Brexit secretary suddenly resigns," 9 July 2018 The prime minister's plan for a soft Brexit was pushed forward by May at a crunch Cabinet meeting at her countryside manor, called Chequers, on Friday. Author: William Booth, Karla Adam, Anchorage Daily News, "Theresa May's government in disarray after shock resignation by Brexit minister," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

New Jersey hair braiders are declaring victory after lawmakers last week recognized a 17-year push to no longer require African braiders to shell out $18,000 and 1,200 hours in cosmetology school in order to operate a business. Oona Goodin-smith, Philly.com, "Families of Cosmo DiNardo murder victims speak out, Pa. to pay $2M to fight teacher shortage | Morning Newsletter," 13 July 2018 Other countries are still continuing a push to phase out the internal combustion engine (the UK just released more details on its plan for a ban by 2040 this week,) so the EV industry isn’t likely to shrivel up and die because a US credit goes away. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "The Terrible Timing of Tesla's Expiring $7,500 Tax Credit," 12 July 2018 The White House has complained that China has used predatory practices in a relentless push to grant Chinese companies an unfair advantage in the industries of the future, including robotics, electric cars and biopharmaceuticals. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "US to impose new tariffs on additional $200B worth of Chinese imports," 10 July 2018 The United States complains that China uses predatory practices, including outright cybertheft, in a push to challenge American technological dominance. Paul Wiseman, Time, "Trump Administration Prepares $200 Billion in Additional Tariffs on Chinese Imports," 10 July 2018 The United States complains that China uses predatory practices, including outright cybertheft, in a push to challenge American technological dominance. Paul Wiseman, The Seattle Times, "US proposes tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese imports," 10 July 2018 American courts have been moving to the right since the 1970s, but that’s because of broad political push by the Republican Party, not just a small cabal of Catholics. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Why all the anti-Catholic conspiracy-mongering?," 9 July 2018 The bottle eventually becomes lighter and thereby exerts a weaker downward push than the buoyancy force pushing the bottle up. Svenja Lohner, Scientific American, "Floating with a Swim Bladder," 5 July 2018 Defensive linemen Garrett Marino and Anthony Rush should again deliver a strong push up front and combined for 17 tackles for a loss. Iliana Limón Romero, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Revitalized UAB is No. 53 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 5 July 2018

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

Statistics for push

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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 \
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).


the setting in which something occurs

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