press

1 of 4

noun (1)

1
a
: a crowd or crowded condition : throng
b
: a thronging or crowding forward or together
2
a
: an apparatus or machine by which a substance is cut or shaped, an impression of a body is taken, a material is compressed, pressure is applied to a body, liquid is expressed, or a cutting tool is fed into the work by pressure
b
: a building containing presses or a business using presses
3
4
a
: an action of pressing or pushing : pressure
b
: an aggressive pressuring defense employed in basketball often over the entire court area
5
: the properly smoothed and creased condition of a freshly pressed garment
out of press
6
b
: the act or the process of printing
c
: a printing or publishing establishment
7
a
: the gathering and publishing or broadcasting of news : journalism
b
: newspapers, periodicals, and often radio and television news broadcasting
c
: news reporters, publishers, and broadcasters
d
: comment or notice in newspapers and periodicals
is getting a good press
8
: any of various pressure devices (such as one for keeping sporting gear from warping when not in use)
9
: a lift in weight lifting in which the weight is raised to shoulder height and then smoothly extended overhead without assist from the legs compare clean and jerk, snatch

press

2 of 4

verb (1)

pressed; pressing; presses

transitive verb

1
: to act upon through steady pushing or thrusting force exerted in contact : squeeze
2
3
a
: to squeeze out the juice or contents of
b
: to squeeze with apparatus or instruments to a desired density, smoothness, or shape
press [=iron] a shirt
… the drained curds are generally pressed together into solid blocks of cheese. Caroline Campion
4
a
: to exert influence on : constrain
b
: to try hard to persuade : beseech, entreat
5
: to move by means of pressure
6
a
: to lay stress or emphasis on
b
: to insist on or request urgently
7
: to follow through (a course of action)
8
: to clasp in affection or courtesy
9
: to make (a phonograph record) from a matrix (see matrix sense 2d)
also : to make (another kind of disk, such as a CD) by a similar process

intransitive verb

1
: to crowd closely : mass
2
: to force or push one's way
3
: to seek urgently : contend
4
: to require haste or speed in action
5
: to exert pressure
6
: to take or hold a press
7
: to employ a press in basketball

press

3 of 4

verb (2)

pressed; pressing; presses

transitive verb

1
: to force into service especially in an army or navy : impress
2
a
: to take by authority especially for public use : commandeer
b
: to take and force into any usually emergency service

intransitive verb

: to impress men as soldiers or sailors

press

4 of 4

noun (2)

1
: impressment into service especially in a navy
2
obsolete : a warrant for impressing recruits
Phrases
press the flesh
: to greet and shake hands with people especially while campaigning for political office

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English presse, from Anglo-French, from presser to press

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French presser, from Latin pressare, frequentative of premere to press; probably akin to Russian naperet' to press

Verb (2)

alteration of obsolete prest to enlist by giving pay in advance

First Known Use

Noun (1)

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

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Verb (2)

1578, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (2)

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of press was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near press

Cite this Entry

“Press.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/press. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

press 1 of 3

noun

1
2
: a machine or device that uses pressure to shape, flatten, squeeze, or stamp
a cookie press
a cider press
3
4
a
: an act of pressing : pressure
b
: an aggressive defense in basketball
5
: the smoothed and creased condition of a freshly pressed garment
6
b
: a printing or publishing business
7
a
: the gathering and publishing or broadcasting of news
b
: the newspapers and magazines of a country
c
: news reporters and broadcasters

press

2 of 3

verb

1
: to bear down upon : push steadily against
2
: to squeeze so as to force out the juice or contents of
press apples to make cider
3
: to flatten out or smooth by bearing down upon (as with an iron)
press clothes
4
a
: to put pressure on : force, compel
pressed by business to return
b
: to ask or urge strongly
pressed us to go with them
5
a
: to insist on
didn't press the issue
b
: to make a demand
pressing for higher wages
6
a
: to crowd closely
reporters pressed around the celebrity
b
: to force or push one's way
pressed deeper into the jungle
presser noun

press

3 of 3

verb

: to force into emergency service

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