Definition of pressure in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈprɛʃə/


[mass noun]
1Continuous physical force exerted on or against an object by something in contact with it: the gate was buckling under the pressure of the crowd outside
More example sentences
  • Usually the honey is extracted by crushing the comb and letting the honey drain out, often helped by extra pressure from a centrifuge.
  • This scissoring of the bones causes extra pressure to be forced upon the Carpal Tunnel.
  • Nikki took his foot in her lap and applied slight pressure to the tender spot.
1.1 [count noun] The force per unit area exerted by a fluid against a surface with which it is in contact: gas can be fed to the turbines at a pressure of around 250 psi
More example sentences
  • The systems and methods apply positive and negative fluid pressures to operate the pump and valve.
  • As for the control, the resulting new steady-state pressures and reflection coefficients of the OPR were measured.
  • The peptides seem to form metastable films which can be compressed to relatively large surface pressures.
(physical) force, load, stress, thrust;
compression, compressing, squeezing, crushing, weight, heaviness
2The use of persuasion or intimidation to make someone do something: backbenchers put pressure on the government to provide safeguards [count noun]: the many pressures on girls to worry about their looks
More example sentences
  • The Government set up the new proposals following pressure from parents and others for greater standardisation of terms and holidays.
  • Furthermore, the patient must be free to make their decision without pressure, persuasion or threat.
  • Mr Daniels says it is time for people to put pressure on Government and business if they want to avoid a collapse in society as we know it.
coercion, force, compulsion, constraint, duress, oppression, enforcement, insistence, demand, entreaty, goading, pestering, provocation, harassment, nagging, harrying, badgering, intimidation, arm-twisting, pressurization, persuasion, influence
North American informal badassery
2.1The influence or effect of someone or something: oil prices came under some downwards pressure
More example sentences
  • Second, it effectively concentrates downward pressure of the dollar onto the euro, adding to the problems of the Euro-zone.
  • It was felt that the unemployment situation had already placed downward pressure on wages in the town.
  • She realises now that financial pressure could have an influence on her game.
2.2A sense of stressful urgency caused by having too many demands on one’s time or resources: he resigned due to pressure of work [count noun]: the pressures of city life
More example sentences
  • There's a new kind of pressure and an increased sense of urgency about dealing with problems.
  • It's the sharp end of the game, big city, big demands, big pressure - as a player that's the only place you ever wanted to be.
  • The stress and pressure of studying increases the body's demand for nutrients.
strain, stress, tension, heat, burden, load, weight, drain, trouble, care, adversity, difficulty
informal hassle


[with object]
Attempt to persuade or coerce (someone) into doing something: it might be possible to pressure him into resigning [with object and infinitive]: she pressured her son to accept a job offer from the bank
More example sentences
  • She didn't want to do it but he pressured her and badgered her until she finally gave in.
  • Mr. Harvey had great expectations of his son, and pressured him to pursue the same career path.
  • To me, pressuring people to withdraw their support for the award is challenging the good faith of the body which chose the winner.
coerce, pressurize, press, push, persuade, influence, force, squeeze, bulldoze, hound, harass, nag, harry, badger, goad, prod, pester, browbeat, brainwash, bully, bludgeon, intimidate, dragoon, twist someone's arm, strong-arm;
bring pressure to bear on, use pressure on, put pressure on, lean on;
North American  blackjack
informal railroad, put the screws/squeeze on
North American informal hustle, fast-talk


Late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin pressura, from press- 'pressed', from the verb premere (see press1).

Words that rhyme with pressure

flesher, fresher, thresher

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pres|sure

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