There are 2 main definitions of press in English:

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press1

Line breaks: press
Pronunciation: /prɛs
 
/

verb

1Move or cause to move into a position of contact with something by exerting continuous physical force: [with object and adverbial of direction]: he pressed his face to the glass [no object, with adverbial of direction]: her body pressed against his
More example sentences
  • Mel took that opportunity to rest her hands on his shoulder and press herself against him.
  • Put on the top half of the bread, press gently and eat immediately with a bottle of very cold beer.
  • The steam was still rising from it as the restaurant staff pressed a plastic lid onto the container.
Synonyms
push (down), press down, thumb, depress, bear down on, lean on, lower, pin, pinion, hold down, force, ram, thrust, cram, squeeze, compress, wedge
clasp, hold close, hug, cuddle, squeeze, crush, enfold, clutch, grasp, embrace
1.1 [with object] Exert continuous physical force on (something), typically in order to operate a device: he pressed a button and the doors slid open
More example sentences
  • But the lift came to a halt midway, forcing those inside to press the help button and ask for assistance.
  • No fiddling with keys on dark, damp mornings and you're off the drive far quicker after pressing the brake pedal and pushing the start button.
  • But here no one ever presses the accelerator pedal: the pace is slow and ultra easy in this corner of very French soil on the coast of South West Brittany.
1.2 [with object] Squeeze (someone’s arm or hand) as a sign of affection: Winnie pressed his hand
More example sentences
  • She leaned down and kissed the top of his head, hugging him about his broad shoulders, and he pressed her hand affectionately.
Synonyms
squeeze, give something a squeeze, grip, clutch, pinch
1.3 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Move in a specified direction by pushing: the mob was still pressing forward
More example sentences
  • Despite landing a fine upper cut as the champion presses forward, it is clear that the Las Vegas-based fighter has no answer to the poise and power of the home favourite.
  • Grunting in acknowledgement, too winded to speak, Alex pressed forward.
  • At last convinced that Sir William was still alive, she set out for Waterloo, her carriage pressing forward slowly through the crowds heading in the opposite direction.
Synonyms
cluster, gather;
converge, congregate, flock, push forward, swarm, throng, crowd, seethe, surge, rush
1.4(Of an enemy or opponent) attack persistently and fiercely: [no object]: their enemies pressed in on all sides
More example sentences
  • Radek Bonk tied it for the Senators in the opening minutes of the third period, and Ottawa pressed hard for the go-ahead goal that suddenly ended up in their own net.
  • We were physically drained from the first mission on oxygen, but the Army and Marine troops were relying on our support, so we pressed.
  • As we pressed in, we got frequent weather updates from the crew 10 minutes ahead.
1.5 [no object] (press on/ahead) Continue in one’s action: he stubbornly pressed on with his work
More example sentences
  • So for one to continue pressing ahead even when the body lacks the energy can be a waste of time.
  • When you run into an unknown, continue to press on and try to fill in the gaps.
  • At that date Firle was continuing to press ahead with what was in reality its long contemplated refurbishment plan.
2 [with object] Apply pressure to (something) to flatten, shape, or smooth it, typically by ironing: she pressed her nicest blouse (as adjective pressed) immaculately pressed trousers
More example sentences
  • This is the man who represents the epitome of style in his immaculately pressed shirts, tirelessly shined shoes and tailored business attire.
  • Wool should be pressed with steam and a moderate temperature.
  • Serged or double-stitched seams should be pressed toward the garment back whenever possible.
Synonyms
smooth, iron, smooth out, remove creases from, put creases in;
steam, calender
2.1Apply pressure to (a flower or leaf) between sheets of paper in order to dry and preserve it.
Example sentences
  • In this book she has placed all the seasons like a leaf or a flower pressed between each page.
  • Collect nice whole leaves and press them between two clean sheets of paper in a large book like a phone book or dictionary.
  • Everyone knows pressed flowers arranged and glued onto paper can make a delightful composition.
Synonyms
flatten, make flat, smooth out
2.2Extract (juice or oil) by crushing or squeezing fruit, vegetables, etc. (as adjective pressed) freshly pressed orange juice
More example sentences
  • Every morning we had our freshly pressed orange juice from the farm's orchard.
  • The two to three edible nuts of the seed are eaten raw or roasted; from these, a stable oil is pressed for use in cosmetic creams and as a meat preservative.
  • ‘Cold Pressed’ is simply a technique used in pressing the oil out of the olives.
2.3Squeeze or crush (fruit, vegetables, etc.) to extract the juice or oil: the small seeds of sesame are chiefly pressed for their oil
More example sentences
  • In the winery, the frozen grapes are gently pressed and the sweet juice, rich in sugar, high in acidity and bursting with flavour, is run off and fermented.
  • The fruits are pressed in communal oil presses and, more often than not, transported by horse-drawn cart.
  • Considered a fruit, olives were eaten whole as food and pressed to make oil for cooking and medicinal uses.
Synonyms
crush, squeeze, squash, compress, mash, pulp, reduce, clamp, pack down, tamp, condense, compact, trample, stamp, tread, grind, mill, pound, pulverize, macerate
2.4Manufacture (something, especially a record) by moulding under pressure: the record was pressed in two runs of 500 copies
More example sentences
  • Yeah, they are standing on their own two feet, pressing their own records and CDs.
  • These were then used to shape the matrixes from which the records were pressed.
3 [with object] Forcefully put forward (an opinion, claim, or course of action): Rose did not press the point
More example sentences
  • Not the least important aspect of those developments is the role of minority ethnic communities themselves in pressing their claim for full and effective citizenship.
  • The reference to a ‘pipeline’ is, of course, pejorative hyperbole and is not to be pressed.
  • Such distinction should not be pressed too far in the exercise of judgment required by the Directive.
Synonyms
plead, urge, advance insistently, file, prefer, lodge, tender, present, place, lay, submit, put forward
3.1Make strong efforts to persuade or force (someone) to do something: when I pressed him for precise figures he evaded the subject [with infinitive]: the marketing directors were pressed to justify their expenditure [no object]: they continued to press for changes in legislation
More example sentences
  • Coun Kevin Lancaster said the council should press the Environment Agency to carry out the work after 2006.
  • Mr Pearson was by then pressing quite hard for exchange of contracts.
  • When pressed for specifics on the protest, Phelps hung up, saying he was too busy to talk.
Synonyms
urge, pressure, put pressure on, pressurize, force, drive, impel, push, coerce, nag;
dragoon into, steamroller into, browbeat into, use strong-arm tactics on, have someone do something
pressurize, pressure, push, goad, dragoon, steamroller, browbeat, importune, wheedle, cajole, sway, argue, talk
informal railroad, bulldoze
call, ask, clamour, push, make a claim, campaign;
insist on, demand
3.2 (press something on/upon) Insist that (someone) accepts an offer or gift: he pressed dinner invitations on her
More example sentences
  • She pressed an invitation on me and asked if I liked the work shown.
  • It should, however, be distinctly understood that I do not accept any responsibility for the scheme, nor do I press its acceptance upon the Council.
  • He attempted to overturn the nurture versus nature theory that has had us all pressing dolls on our sons and junior construction kits on our little girls.
3.3 [no object] (Of time) be in short supply, necessitating immediate action: she was almost 45 years old and time was pressing
More example sentences
  • We paused to try out a handful of fair rides, but by now time was pressing and we bribed the children away with the promise of an ice cream.
  • He was dumbstruck at the possibility that one individual could finance a project on this scale, but time was pressing and he was willing to listen to any offers.
  • There is still a good way to go before a really coherent scheme for presenting Stonehenge to its many visitors is achieved, and time is pressing.
3.4 (be pressed) Have barely enough of something, especially time: I’m terribly pressed for time
More example sentences
  • For one, kids today grow up with a different type of parent - one who is more pressed for time.
  • Some schools are so pressed for money, the students don't even have their own textbooks.
  • The government-run facility had been pressed for money and had no extra funds to refurbish the busy center.
Synonyms
have too little, be short of, have barely enough, have an insufficiency of, have insufficient, lack, be lacking (in), be wanting, be deficient in, be deprived of, be low on, need, be/stand in need of
informal be strapped for
3.5 (be pressed to do something) Have difficulty doing or achieving something: they may be hard pressed to keep their promise
More example sentences
  • The club's rulers had to act, but I suspect the fabled wisdom of King Solomon would be pressed to drag City out of their present slump.
  • The blunder follows another problem of a biology exam paper that contained such bad diagrams that pupils were pressed to understand what they were supposed to answer.
  • The Berea police were pressed to handle such a large crowd and the Ohio National Guard was brought in to assist.
4 [with object] Weightlifting Raise (a specified weight) by lifting it to shoulder height and then gradually pushing it upwards above the head.
Example sentences
  • Perform the exercise as you normally would, except press the weight up as fast as you can and release the bar from your hands at the top.
  • Make sure your hips stay on the bench as you press the weight, but you can arch your back a little.
  • Gunter adjusts the seat so that he can press the weight directly out from mid-pec level.
5 [no object] Golf Try too hard to achieve distance with a shot, at the risk of inaccuracy.
Example sentences
  • This is not a good golf course to start pressing on.

noun

Back to top  
1A device for applying pressure to something in order to flatten or shape it or to extract juice or oil: a flower press a wine press
More example sentences
  • Whole clusters go into a press in which the juice is extracted and pumped into a big stainless steel tank.
  • Served on excellent baguettes and flattened in a sandwich press, a hoggie is a Mexican torta with an identity crisis.
  • One of the first applications of the screw was in presses for the extraction of oil from olives and juice from grapes.
1.1A machine that applies pressure to a workpiece by means of a tool, in order to punch shapes.
Example sentences
  • With the emphasis on flexibility, the robots working between the individual presses change the pick-up tools when required.
  • The machine press that was found on the premises was locally made and police believe it could be one of a handful in the country.
  • Before their fiscal year ends, this month, they plan to shop for a new computer and a press for their assembly shop.
2A printing press.
Example sentences
  • Windows are added at street level so that passers-by can watch the press and printmakers at work.
  • Printers and their presses were to be found in every major city and town.
  • When the inked surface is built up to the artist's satisfaction, the paper is placed on the plate and both are run through a lithograph press.
Synonyms
printing press, printing machine
2.1 [often in names] A business that prints or publishes books: the Clarendon Press
More example sentences
  • Seazoom is the third book published by local press Passwords Enterprises, headed by poet Vivian Hansen.
  • University presses have published books and subsequently left the archiving to printers.
  • Two books published by university presses demonstrate just how enriching the change can be.
Synonyms
publishing house, publishing company, printing establishment/firm/business/house
3 (the press) [treated as singular or plural] Newspapers or journalists viewed collectively: the incident was not reported in the press [as modifier]: press coverage of the trial
More example sentences
  • ‘I know, as a journalist, that the press need something to hang an event on,’ he said.
  • Senior MPs know they can leak with impunity to journalists because the press isn't going to bite the hand that feeds it.
  • The firm's management refused to talk to the press, and journalists were kept away by security guards.
Synonyms
the media, the newspapers, the papers, the news media, journalism, the newspaper world, the newspaper business, the print media, the fourth estate;
North American informal newsies
dated publicists
British dated Fleet Street
3.1 [mass noun] Coverage in newspapers and magazines: there’s no point in demonstrating if you don’t get any press [in singular]: the government has had a bad press for years
More example sentences
  • Maybe they steer clear of journalists because the place gets enough bad press anyway, or maybe they've been killed off by stuff we can't see.
  • Gene therapy does not get as much press as cell therapy.
  • But this column is not about the mayor's possible problems with the press but about bad press in general.
Synonyms
reports, press treatment, press coverage, press reporting, press articles, press reviews, press write-ups
4An act of pressing something: the system summons medical help at the press of a button these clothes could do with a press
More example sentences
  • No fiddling around with headrests and seatbelts: just a single press of a button and one side went flat, making ample room for three bikes.
  • It gives the reader a wide choice of material at the press of a button.
  • How can I add my rather long e-mail address with just a single press of a key?
4.1 [in singular] A closely packed crowd or mass of people or things: among the press of cars he saw a taxi
More example sentences
  • So long as you could glimpse the number of the object, you could look it up in the booklet and examine it from the back of the case, away from the press of the crowd.
  • Apparently people are fainting left, right and center because of the press of the crowd.
  • I saw their escorts, some of them guards, some of them officials, all around them to hold off the press of the crowd.
4.2 dated Pressure of business.
4.3 Basketball Any of various forms of close guarding by the defending team.
Example sentences
  • Teams dependent upon their press to score usually have a weak half-court offense.
  • Most team use the offensive free throw as a convenient break in the action to setup their press.
  • If the other team can simply dribble through your press, pick another defense.
5 Weightlifting An act of raising a weight to shoulder height and then gradually pushing it upwards above the head.
Example sentences
  • Start your shoulder workout with heavy presses of some sort and bump front dumbbell raises to number three or four in your exercise order.
  • Maybe you are, in fact, one of the few and proud that does train calves, diligently pounding out set after grueling set of calf raises and donkey presses.
  • Once you learn to isolate your triceps, you can call on them during a compound movement to help you eke out a few extra reps of chest or shoulder presses.
6chiefly Irish & Scottish A large cupboard.
Example sentences
  • The fitted kitchen/breakfast room features a number of built-in presses, worktops and cupboards and plenty of food preparation space.
  • The room features an open fireplace with a cream tiled surround and inset, and there is a fitted corner cupboard with display presses.
  • Wardrobes or linen presses can serve in a kitchen as a larder or anything you fancy.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French presse (noun), presser (verb), from Latin pressare 'keep pressing', frequentative of premere.

More
  • Both press and print (Middle English) can be traced back to Latin premere, ‘to press’, as can pressure (Late Middle English). Journalists and the newspaper industry have been known as the press, in reference to printing presses, since the late 18th century, although before that a press was a printing house or publisher. Another name for journalists, used since the 1830s or 1840s, is the fourth estate. It was originally used of the then unrepresented mass of people: Henry Fielding wrote in 1752 ‘None of our political writers…take notice of any more than three estates, namely, Kings, Lords, and Commons…passing by in silence that very large and powerful body which form the fourth estate in this community…The Mob.’ By the middle of the 19th century it was firmly established for the press. Carlyle wrote in 1841 ‘Burke said there were three Estates in Parliament, but in the Reporters’ Gallery…there sat a fourth Estate more important far than they all.’ Burke has been credited with the term, but no evidence beyond Carlyle has yet been found. Press the flesh is US slang from the 1920s meaning ‘to shake hands’. These days it is generally used of celebrities or politicians greeting crowds by shaking hands with random people. The heyday of the press gang, a group employed to force men to join the navy, was the 18th and early 19th centuries, but the first record of the term comes before 1500. Press-ganging people was really a form of arbitrary conscription, a word that appears in Late Middle English in the literal sense of ‘writing down together’ from Latin con ‘with’ and scribere ‘write’, but which was only introduced in the modern sense of compulsory enlistment in Britain in 1916, during the First World War, although the word was first recorded in 1800. Depress (Late Middle English) has the basic sense of ‘press down’.

Phrases

go to press

1
Go to be printed.
Example sentences
  • How do you decide what newspaper content will get released to your television partners or on the Web before the newspaper goes to press?
  • Mr Johnson said the job would need ‘a lot of time and thought’ and he would stand down from the magazine when the Christmas edition had gone to press.
  • Unfortunately this information was received after the most recent edition of Dresden had gone to press.

press charges

2
see charge.

press something home

3
see home.

press (the) flesh

4
informal (Of a celebrity or politician) greet people by shaking hands.
Example sentences
  • His designated role for the festival will be to press the flesh and meet and greet as many people as he can.
  • Bigwigs in that branch of the party appear to play a leading role in her campaign, which so far has been about pressing the flesh and avoiding political issues.
  • And he has undergone a transformation from aloof politician to one who knows how to press the flesh and talk with villagers.

Definition of press in:

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There are 2 main definitions of press in English:

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press2

Line breaks: press
Pronunciation: /prɛs
 
/

verb

[with object]
1 (press someone/thing into) Put someone or something to a specified use, especially as a temporary or makeshift measure: she was pressed into service as an interpreter
More example sentences
  • The town hall and the town's ice-rink were pressed into service as temporary mortuaries.
  • The Bund Signal Tower, which fell into disuse over 100 years ago, is to be pressed into service again.
  • We put Lee in the drawing room where once again my Persian rug could be pressed into service as the world's most expensive duvet.
2 historical Force (a man) to enlist in the army or navy.
Example sentences
  • At least a third had been pressed into the Navy.

noun

historical Back to top  
A forcible enlistment of men, especially for the navy.
Example sentences
  • Any English-speaking, able-bodied, man on leave in a port might find himself swept up in the press.

Origin

late 16th century: alteration (by association with press1) of obsolete prest 'pay given on enlistment, enlistment by such payment', from Old French prest 'loan, advance pay', based on Latin praestare 'provide'.

More
  • Both press and print (Middle English) can be traced back to Latin premere, ‘to press’, as can pressure (Late Middle English). Journalists and the newspaper industry have been known as the press, in reference to printing presses, since the late 18th century, although before that a press was a printing house or publisher. Another name for journalists, used since the 1830s or 1840s, is the fourth estate. It was originally used of the then unrepresented mass of people: Henry Fielding wrote in 1752 ‘None of our political writers…take notice of any more than three estates, namely, Kings, Lords, and Commons…passing by in silence that very large and powerful body which form the fourth estate in this community…The Mob.’ By the middle of the 19th century it was firmly established for the press. Carlyle wrote in 1841 ‘Burke said there were three Estates in Parliament, but in the Reporters’ Gallery…there sat a fourth Estate more important far than they all.’ Burke has been credited with the term, but no evidence beyond Carlyle has yet been found. Press the flesh is US slang from the 1920s meaning ‘to shake hands’. These days it is generally used of celebrities or politicians greeting crowds by shaking hands with random people. The heyday of the press gang, a group employed to force men to join the navy, was the 18th and early 19th centuries, but the first record of the term comes before 1500. Press-ganging people was really a form of arbitrary conscription, a word that appears in Late Middle English in the literal sense of ‘writing down together’ from Latin con ‘with’ and scribere ‘write’, but which was only introduced in the modern sense of compulsory enlistment in Britain in 1916, during the First World War, although the word was first recorded in 1800. Depress (Late Middle English) has the basic sense of ‘press down’.

Definition of press in:

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