\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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Less attention was paid to the notion of pushing humans who were already here back over the border, as well as the realities of what stepped-up law enforcement might look like. Will Bunch, Philly.com, "Can Trump's slow-motion ethnic cleansing keep whites in U.S. majority? | Will Bunch," 12 July 2018 Her book and the fire are credited with pushing the state to adopt 36 new worker safety regulations. Olivia Campbell, Smithsonian, "The Historical Struggle to Rid Socialism of Sexism," 12 July 2018 Having had a glimpse of the future her daughter can look forward to in Gilead, Serena is finally pushed over the brink to revolt, but in a very subtle and shrewd way. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Finale Offers a Light in the Darkness," 11 July 2018 But really, Justice Kennedy should be credited with pushing Roe right up to the brink rather than pulling it away. Martha F. Davis, Fortune, "Why Brett Kavanaugh Is a Huge Threat to Minority Rights," 10 July 2018 Doc has a great ability in pushing stories that don’t really catch on. SI.com, "The Rockets Strange Offseason and the Pursuit of Carmelo Anthony," 10 July 2018 The start time for tonight's concert will be pushed back to accommodate for traffic delays. Nancy Daly, Cincinnati.com, "Wreck near Riverbend postpones start of Jimmy Buffett concert to 8:45 p.m.," 10 July 2018 Authorities said the blaze started with a house fire and gusty winds reportedly were pushing the flames. CBS News, "New fires sweep through sweltering Southern California," 7 July 2018 With temperatures pushing 90 degrees Fahrenheit in Paris, extreme glamour may be a tall order for summer. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Rockabilly Hair! Glitter Eyes! Chanel Makes the Case for Extreme Glamour This Summer," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that The news of Lilo & Stitch's ascension into Disney's live-action canon comes amid a major push from the studio to reimagine beloved films for the modern age. Devon Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, ""Lilo & Stitch" Is Disney's Next Live-Action Remake," 3 Oct. 2018 Indeed, this calendar year includes a push for employment reform on behalf of domestic workers and a potential 9 to 5 sequel. Seth Plattner, Glamour, "Jane Fonda: ‘I'm Not Apologizing for Being a Celebrity Anymore’," 17 Sep. 2018 But what sometimes gets lost in the push for early detection and fundraising is that the prognosis is not equally rosy for all patients. Barbara Brody, Good Housekeeping, "8 Common Myths About Metastatic Breast Cancer," 11 Sep. 2018 As a push present, the rapper allegedly gave the makeup mogul a $1.4 million Ferrari earlier this year, following the birth of their first child. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner's 21st Birthday Gifts Included a Stunning Vintage Rolls Royce from Travis Scott," 11 Aug. 2018 Amid the Trump administration’s push to expel immigrants with criminal records, Southeast Asians have started to be deported in record numbers. Laignee Barron, Time, "U.S. Imposes Visa Sanctions on Myanmar and Laos Over Their Refusal to Accept Deportees," 11 July 2018 The numbers are better in Philadelphia, where about 5 percent of teachers are black males and the school system has made a push to diversify its teacher corps. Philly.com, "A former drug dealer made good and became a Philly teacher. So why is he thinking of leaving the profession?," 11 July 2018 While the Brewers make a playoff push and the Packers are beating up on Lions and Bears, the Bucks will be getting ready to open Giannis Antetokounmpo’s glitzy new playground, which has everything but a name. Gary D'amato, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "D'Amato: The evidence is in and America’s Dairyland is the best sporting state in the nation," 7 July 2018 Judges in recent months have also ruled on the Trump administration’s push for a border wall with Mexico and its move to revoke an Obama-era program protecting young immigrants from deportation. Washington Post, "Judge warns against ‘piecemeal’ court rulings on immigration," 6 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about push

Dictionary Entries near push






push along

push and pull

Statistics for push

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for push

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!