Definition of hard-pressed in US English:



  • 1Closely pursued.

    ‘the hard-pressed French infantry’
    • ‘His clearances kept his side out of danger when required, whereas David Adamson of Stirling County did not find touch frequently enough, and when he did, it was seldom deep enough to give his hard-pressed pack welcome breathing space.’
    • ‘‘Uhm… yes, I'm here ’, I replied lurching forward about two metres into the already hard-pressed crowd.’
    • ‘As it was, precision kicking from stand-off Louis Koen and a fine try from veteran wing Stefan Terblanche sealed the victory for South Africa, and only superb defence by the hard-pressed visitors kept the score respectable.’
    • ‘Three 56-minute games in two days proved a tough timetable for both sides, with Teddington, who have lost 14 players since last season, particularly hard-pressed.’
    under attack, closely pursued, hotly pursued, harried, hounded
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  • 2Burdened with urgent business.

    ‘training centers are hard-pressed and insufficient in numbers’
    • ‘Ishihara rails against everything from the reduction of the time hard-pressed Japanese kids have to spend in school to the country's non-nuclear peace constitution.’
    • ‘It worked well, and I can recommend it to any hard-pressed exec who needs to take control of a busy schedule.’
    • ‘These are valuable strategies that can rarely be exploited in a busy surgery or on a hard-pressed understaffed ward but form the basis of care within multidisciplinary pain management clinics.’
    • ‘It may sound too time consuming and a bit like baby sitting for busy hard-pressed organisations and businesses.’
    • ‘Among its priorities will be better treatment for the chronically ill, offering treatment in the community and at home and reducing the need for stays in local hospitals, which are among the most hard-pressed in the country.’
    • ‘In particular it illustrates how wide the gap is between the sonorous resolutions of the Security Council and the situations that hard-pressed humanitarian workers and others often have to deal with in the field.’
    • ‘The wider the debates the more they are likely to harass, confuse and distract hard-pressed District Court judges and magistrates in particular.’
    • ‘Doncaster GP Andrew Marshall, who has led a national campaign to get a new contract, said it could offer ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for hard-pressed doctors struggling with staff shortages.’
    • ‘Banning junk food from school dinners is sensible, but objecting to the contents of a packed lunch that may have been provided by a hard-pressed single mother with limited domestic skills is trespassing on sensitive territory.’
    • ‘At the General Medical Council hearing he painted a picture of a hard-pressed doctor who had to cope with a heavy workload, well above that of other surgeons within the limited time and equipment available in an NHS hospital.’
    • ‘Yet, it was clearly established that even a modest weight reduction and improved weight control could bring health benefits, and relieve the burden on hard-pressed health systems.’
    • ‘The hard-pressed Minstead team, bolstered by full-time officers from the Yard's murder squad, was in danger of becoming bogged down in the laborious task of weeding out suspects on the fringe of the investigation.’
    • ‘Infantry battalions would fall from 40 to 36 but with manpower redistributed to boost the hard-pressed Army logisticians, engineers, signallers and intelligence.’
    • ‘An asylum-seeking surgeon, who escaped the brutality of Iraq for a new life in England, has been refused permission to stay in the UK - despite wanting to help the hard-pressed NHS.’
    • ‘A variety of good causes have been mentioned - the government's debt repayment scheme, hard-pressed public services or cash-strapped government departments - and all have a strong case.’
    • ‘Result: hard-pressed people, feeling the energy of the Net as they eyeball the screen, feeling more tension, will tend to stiffen their shoulders and stick with the sites that deliver.’
    • ‘Permissive parenting has been blamed, rightly so I suppose, but as a parent with two that age or over and another nearly there I have a glass house and cannot afford to throw any stones at other hard-pressed parents.’
    • ‘Ethics committees act as a gatekeeper for broader social and political ideas or prejudices, and are yet another hurdle for hard-pressed scientists to overcome before they can even start upon their investigations.’
    in difficulties, under pressure, under stress, troubled, beleaguered, harassed, with one's back to the wall, with one's back up against the wall, in a tight corner, in a tight spot, between a rock and a hard place
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    1. 2.1 In difficulties.
      ‘creating jobs in the hard-pressed construction industry’
      with infinitive ‘many families will be hard pressed to support their elderly relations’
      • ‘The baseballers will be praying for a miracle against defending champions Cuba and the women's hockey team will be hard-pressed to overcome the tough Germans in their Games opener.’
      • ‘Scotland's hard-pressed tourism industry has been hit by an 8% fall in the number of high-spending American visitors for the second year running.’
      • ‘Sorrell's previous forecast was for an upturn in 2004 as the US Presidential election and the Athens Olympics provide a welcome boost to demand for the hard-pressed advertising and media industry.’
      • ‘If rural communities are indeed to do that, it will be good news for Scotland's most hard-pressed areas, well worth the difficulty of prising rolling acres of hill and moor away from the landowners.’
      • ‘One is hard-pressed to hear most blacks voice any enthusiasm for him the way they did when Bill Clinton ran in 1992.’
      • ‘The industry is very hard-pressed after experiencing several very difficult years,’ he said.’
      • ‘One of the common complaints of patients at hard-pressed GP practices is the difficulty in getting an appointment, particularly at short notice.’
      • ‘It will give a great boost to Britain's hard-pressed tourism industry and it is a great coup for York.’
      • ‘Earlier this year, the U.S. imposed up to 30% in safeguard tariffs for three years to protect the U.S. steel industry hard-pressed by less expensive imports.’
      • ‘New companies - the ‘infidels’ - can make the kinds of offers that any industry leader would be hard-pressed to match.’
      • ‘All of this is very tough for the hard-pressed British farming sector.’
      • ‘Mr Greenway said: ‘It's a disaster for an already hard-pressed pig industry.’’
      • ‘As a result, Black colleges will be hard-pressed to keep pace because of the wide disparity in economic resources between HBCUs and predominantly White schools.’
      • ‘When the two had been introduced, Miss Davenport concealed a sneer with difficulty, Clarissa could see, and the governess was hard-pressed to stop her cheeks from flushing.’
      • ‘Right now, even their toughest critics are hard-pressed to find something wrong with the Eagles.’
      • ‘Still, when times get tough, hard-pressed companies don't stop to worry about the collective good.’
      • ‘In the end, the $7 trillion fund industry, with all its legendary clout, will be hard-pressed to blunt reforms.’
      • ‘Although this is marvellous news for our already hard-pressed industry, there are many problems.’
      • ‘Verheugen will, to be sure, have to show that he can resist his country's tendency to bolster its own hard-pressed industry through corporate deals at the European level; but he seems inclined to at least have a fight.’
      • ‘But the fear is that if Billiton takes over the supply of coal with cheap foreign imports, the hard-pressed UK coal-mining industry would need to slash jobs to make up for the loss of the contract.’



/ˈhärd ˈˌprest//ˈhɑrd ˈˌprɛst/