Definition of pressure in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘Nikki took his foot in her lap and applied slight pressure to the tender spot.’
    • ‘We reported peak contact pressure since peak pressure may have a direct impact on joint degeneration.’
    • ‘The applied suction pressure caused xylem sap flow into the capillary where it could be collected with a syringe.’
    • ‘Users can select the contact pressure, position, separation rate, and test duration.’
    • ‘For pushdowns, I like to keep my elbow joints working like simple hinges and not put extra pressure on them.’
    • ‘Osmotic pressure is a measure of the extra pressure that has to be exerted to counteract osmosis.’
    • ‘Black Blaze responded to the slightest pressure on his flank or feel of his mane.’
    • ‘What do you see as some of the causes of the gravitational pressures bearing down on them?’
    • ‘The open cone shaped nozzle allows the outward expansion of the hot gas to exert pressure on the rocket as it flies.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Continuous negative pressure applied to a wound is now an established method for managing patients' wounds in hospital.’
    • ‘Radial pressures exerted by roots on the surrounding soil are also believed to be a critical feature in penetration of hard soils.’
    • ‘They had to undergo genetic alterations to prepare them for the gravitational pressures of these gates.’
    • ‘Next, she uses her toes to dig into troublesome knots, and her heel to apply extra pressure where needed.’
    • ‘Conductance declined exponentially with applied pressure for both roots and stems.’
    • ‘Continuous screw presses in particular often exert such pressure that the product is excessively bitter and astringent.’
    • ‘The jaw musculature is immensely strong, giving rise to huge pressures and displacement forces.’
    • ‘I heard a slight moan from his chest as Salian applied pressure to his back.’
    • ‘One girl liked to be held down while she was kissed, so there was always a lot of physical pressure on the kiss itself.’
    1. 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’
      • ‘I would like to look now at the potential ranges of pressures on the suction side of the compressor.’
      • ‘Both systems exhibit two different regions of coexisting liquid phases at low surface pressures.’
      • ‘A fluid storage and dispensing system comprising a vessel for holding a fluid at a desired pressure.’
      • ‘The systems and methods apply positive and negative fluid pressures to operate the pump and valve.’
      • ‘Exposure to air can drastically change not only miscibility transitions, but also surface pressures.’
      • ‘Upon compression, DPPC can pack into a gel phase that can resist these high surface pressures.’
      • ‘Relative loads and peak pressures for all areas were extracted for each step.’
      • ‘They found an enhancement of ABA incorporation by monolayers at low surface pressures only under acid conditions.’
      • ‘The peptides seem to form metastable films which can be compressed to relatively large surface pressures.’
      • ‘Cracks can occur from concentrated pressures exerted by incorrectly placed fill material.’
      • ‘Flow demand was estimated from mean inspiratory flow on continuous positive airway pressure.’
      • ‘These high pore-water pressures reduce the contact between grains, thus reducing the frictional strength of the soil.’
      • ‘These compressed POPC films were stable for extended periods at very high surface pressures.’
      • ‘As for the control, the resulting new steady-state pressures and reflection coefficients of the OPR were measured.’
      • ‘The electrons exert a pressure on the ions just like an ideal gas exerts pressure on the walls of a confining box.’
      • ‘To reach high surface pressures, the rate of compression must then exceed the rate of collapse.’
      • ‘The Earth's highest surface air pressures are found in masses of very cold air over places such as Siberia.’
      • ‘Selected areas were studied using a variable pressure SEM in backscattered electron mode.’
      • ‘This may contribute to an elevation and lateralization of PFJ contact pressures.’
      • ‘For example, the reported duration of daily continuous positive airway pressure varied by a factor of 10.’
      load, stress, thrust
      View synonyms
  • 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’
    • ‘Commercial channels are under pressure from advertisers to attract a younger audience.’
    • ‘In both cases, maximum available pressure was demanded and used in order to alter the domestic laws of other countries.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the patient must be free to make their decision without pressure, persuasion or threat.’
    • ‘In my dictionary it is violence used to put pressure on a government or society.’
    • ‘There is great political pressure on the current government to upgrade services in all these areas.’
    • ‘This put pressure on government and political figures in Scotland to react in a similar way.’
    • ‘But it took much in the way of arm-twisting and political pressure to get them to agree to the trip.’
    • ‘So mental health professionals will be under pressure to practise defensively and, if in doubt, to detain.’
    • ‘There could be no question of pressure or intimidation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Did it create a huge sense of pressure, coming from this kind of stellar background and attempting to make a name as an actress for herself?’
    • ‘We don't have a charter and we don't have pressure from shareholders demanding profits and wanting to see readership figures.’
    • ‘The government must resist political pressure for additional funding from all sides to avoid deficit spending.’
    • ‘He is not intimidated by pressure, and the club is trying to take advantage of that as much as possible.’
    • ‘If management bothered to put pressure on Government for more funding, they wouldn't need to raise them either.’
    • ‘The first is that advertising piles deliberate pressure on parents with the pester power of the child.’
    • ‘He blames the UW administration and government pressure for the increase in students.’
    • ‘The Government set up the new proposals following pressure from parents and others for greater standardisation of terms and holidays.’
    • ‘The food industry is under intense pressure to curtail its marketing in the face of rising levels of childhood obesity.’
    coercion, force, compulsion, constraint, duress, oppression, enforcement, insistence, demand, entreaty, goading, pestering, provocation, harassment, nagging, harrying, badgering, intimidation, arm-twisting, pressurization, persuasion, influence
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 The influence or effect of someone or something:
      ‘oil prices came under some downwards pressure’
      • ‘It is well known that population explosion mounts enormous pressure on environment and resources.’
      • ‘But Xiao does not believe that aluminium prices will face downward pressure.’
      • ‘Tougher penalties for people-smugglers implement a six point plan to put downward pressure on petrol prices.’
      • ‘He is adamant he has closed a deal which does not place undue pressure on his resources.’
      • ‘When we speak to our members their number one concern is red tape, and this new legislation will of course add to this pressure on their resources.’
      • ‘She realises now that financial pressure could have an influence on her game.’
      • ‘The use of innovative medicines also reduces pressure on hospital resources.’
      • ‘An SHA spokeswoman said a significant increase in the number of patients treated had put considerable pressure on resources.’
      • ‘The pressure would overwhelm the resources of any city.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There is increasing pressure on the resources, as I have already mentioned.’
      • ‘He says the expected release of land should take considerable pressure off demand for housing blocks and see a drop in prices.’
      • ‘But he said he remained concerned about the volume of traffic and the increased pressure on local resources.’
      • ‘Already we are seeing downward pressure on both the US dollar and local currency interest rates across the Middle East.’
      • ‘This was to avoid putting pressure on construction resources at the end this year.’
      • ‘Oil prices were under further pressure yesterday due to concerns about supply and demand.’
      • ‘These practical constraints can put pressure on the relationship between the elder girls and the triplets.’
      • ‘However, the big question is: who should pay for it, at a time when there is already great pressure on police resources?’
      • ‘That way this self-contained unit will not put pressure on resources in towns and cities.’
      effect, impact
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 A 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’
      • ‘The pressure of demand for services and for urban jobs is mounting, and unemployment is on the rise.’
      • ‘The break from the grinding pressure of county demands will only help him to refine his football focus.’
      • ‘Nursing and support staff do a wonderful job but are constantly under pressure from ever dwindling resources.’
      • ‘We sensed he was under pressure from the board and we were desperate to pick up results for him.’
      • ‘Library books come with a due date, which directly interprets into stress and pressure.’
      • ‘The stress and pressure of studying increases the body's demand for nutrients.’
      • ‘But hospital chiefs say they cannot operate on any new patients because of the huge demand and pressure on surgeons' time.’
      • ‘They made me comfortable and it is a team with no pressure, no stress, and we can just get down to working.’
      • ‘This is the bit I hate, what if it makes people feel all stressed and under pressure to perform?’
      • ‘About half of Hong Kong people suffer from hair loss due to stress and working pressure, a study has shown.’
      • ‘Modern prosperity may be greater but modern life is pressure and stress.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In 1984, he resigned from the council and the Planning Authority due to pressure of work at the warehouse.’
      • ‘Yet in the case of HIV vaccines the scientific community is, for humanitarian reasons, under pressure to move with urgency.’
      • ‘I say it's just not worth stressing over and putting pressure on yourself or your lover.’
      • ‘I felt an enormous sense of pressure to do that, but I didn't know if I would be able to.’
      • ‘There's a new kind of pressure and an increased sense of urgency about dealing with problems.’
      • ‘But many didn't arrive on Saturday and angry parents say the delay has piled on pressure at an already stressful time.’
      • ‘In some cases, parents may come under intolerable pressure and stress, which leads to them harm their own children.’
      • ‘Although the French nation was being created in a civic sense, little pressure was felt in the short term to make all citizens speak the same language.’
      strain, stress, tension, heat, burden, load, weight, drain, trouble, care, adversity, difficulty
      View synonyms


  • 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’
    • ‘She didn't want to do it but he pressured her and badgered her until she finally gave in.’
    • ‘They both came forward at the same time, standing on either side of him, as though pressuring him to wake her.’
    • ‘If his family had succeeded in pressuring him to end the relationship, he would have been lost and devalued.’
    • ‘She claims she approached the bishop with the news and pressured him for action.’
    • ‘The authorities are pressuring me to bring these people to them to record their statements but I am helpless as they refuse to go.’
    • ‘Mr. Harvey had great expectations of his son, and pressured him to pursue the same career path.’
    • ‘It went on for a while and I didn't tell on him, but I pressured him to tell Mum and Dad himself, which he did.’
    • ‘To me, pressuring people to withdraw their support for the award is challenging the good faith of the body which chose the winner.’
    • ‘Constantly it seems we are pressured to declare our allegiance to one side or the other.’
    • ‘He stood at the gates in sun and downpours of rain but never pressured anyone for a shilling.’
    • ‘The key is whether the woman was actually capable of choosing her own vote or if she was pressured into doing so.’
    • ‘According to her, some of her friends are pressuring her to do that.’
    • ‘After all, I'd been pressuring him for years to recall this now famous classmate.’
    • ‘Soon he came home worried because some kids were pressuring him to join their gang.’
    • ‘While I was pressuring her to find a job and control her drinking, she rebelled by stealing the contents of my bank account.’
    • ‘Most mistakes are made because we are pressured, fatigued or ignorant of all the facts.’
    • ‘The gals are really pressuring you, and it does sound delightfully tempting.’
    • ‘He said he and his wife had never pressured their son into moving out, but they now believed he was afraid to tell them he no longer had his flat.’
    • ‘There have been very few reported cases of tourists being pressured after refusing to pay.’
    • ‘There have also been reports that some employers have been pressuring workers to vote for certain parties.’
    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
    railroad, put the screws on, put the squeeze on
    hustle, fast-talk
    View synonyms


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