Main definitions of press in English

: press1press2

press1

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’
    • ‘I was no longer crying, but I still held on to him, pressing my face into his smooth, muscular chest.’
    • ‘I brushed past him and pressed one of the pieces of paper into his hand.’
    • ‘The steam was still rising from it as the restaurant staff pressed a plastic lid onto the container.’
    • ‘I sow about 30 seeds per box, pressing each one into the compost down to the first joint in my finger.’
    • ‘Put on the top half of the bread, press gently and eat immediately with a bottle of very cold beer.’
    • ‘Outside his room they stopped, their bodies pressed together, his face only inches from hers.’
    • ‘He pressed his forehead to the smooth, cool iron.’
    • ‘I collapse on the floor, curled up in an almost foetal position, head pressed up against one of the speakers as the music blares out at ear-damaging volume.’
    • ‘He was pressing a twenty pound note into Angus's hand.’
    • ‘I take another step forward, causing her to press herself against the couch.’
    • ‘He took her by the shoulders and pressed her down on a bench.’
    • ‘Brett smiled as she settled her head on his shoulder and he pressed her closer to him.’
    • ‘The car had landed on its wheels, inclined forward, making my weight press down on the shoulder and into the steering wheel.’
    • ‘Once there, he pressed his ear to the smooth wood and listened.’
    • ‘I pressed my hands on the grass and pushed myself to my feet, never turning my head from the wonder in front of me.’
    • ‘Mel took that opportunity to rest her hands on his shoulder and press herself against him.’
    • ‘She wrapped her hands around his shoulders and pressed herself to him.’
    • ‘I was struggling to get out of the pub with my rucksack, when I was pressed against someone who looked vaguely familiar.’
    • ‘Each layer should be pressed down firmly before the next layer is inserted.’
    • ‘Brush the edges with water before pressing the lids on top of the fruit mince to seal the filling in.’
    push, 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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Exert continuous physical force on (something), typically in order to operate a device or machine.
      ‘he pressed a button and the doors slid open’
      • ‘By pressing a key on the keyboard, the user does not only produce a letter but also hears one: the letter is spoken out loud and simultaneously visualized in an enlarged three-dimensional form.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Sky Digital viewers should press the Yellow key during the game to switch between the two matches uniquely through BBCi.’
      • ‘If an actor forgot his lines, a special button was pressed to cut off the sound to the viewer.’
      • ‘Interactive television will provide a list of movies grouped under various categories, from which the user will be able to choose a suitable title, just by pressing a few keys on the remote control.’
      • ‘But the lift came to a halt midway, forcing those inside to press the help button and ask for assistance.’
      • ‘Most of the pleasure in photography for me is the moment when the button is pressed to take the picture.’
      • ‘Lights and sounds - your baby will enjoy the twinkling lights and quiet melodies that are activated by pressing or squeezing a toy.’
      • ‘He had conditioned himself to ignore the kick and the sharp report, and to hold the sights steady and press the trigger smoothly.’
      • ‘He frowns a little, looking forward again and presses the gas-pedal as the light turns green.’
      • ‘Josh reached the elevator door and pressed the ‘call lift’ button.’
      • ‘The transaction is entered into the ledger by pressing the ENTER key, while pressing the ESC key cancels it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That key alone would not open its door: a buzzer also had to be pressed by security staff in a command post on the 22nd floor.’
      • ‘Katie looked over her shoulder numerous times, pressing the ‘down’ button as fast as she could.’
      • ‘To return to the main match, viewers should press the Exit key at any time.’
      • ‘Incidentally, pressing the Enter key while a filter is highlighted in the Selected filters box allows you to change specific filter settings.’
      • ‘Type out the name David Beckham in the tiny rectangular column on Google search and then press Enter.’
      • ‘When I saw what I was looking for, I scrolled up and down through the list and pressed Enter.’
      • ‘As the gun settles, the shooter applies positive pressure to the trigger, pressing it straight back at a constantly increasing speed until the gun fires.’
    2. 1.2with object Squeeze (someone's arm or hand) as a sign of affection.
      • ‘She leaned down and kissed the top of his head, hugging him about his broad shoulders, and he pressed her hand affectionately.’
      squeeze, give something a squeeze, grip, clutch, pinch
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3no object , with adverbial of direction Move in a specified direction by pushing.
      ‘the mob was still pressing forward’
      • ‘United were pressing forward at this stage and on 32 minutes it seemed they were to be rewarded.’
      • ‘Bennett missed a great chance to level as Waterford pressed forward.’
      • ‘Spare time and curiosity pushed him into pressing onward up the gorge.’
      • ‘I looked heavenward and when there were no lightning bolts I pressed forward.’
      • ‘He was hungry, tired and sore from his ordeal in the sea, but knew he must press forwards in order to survive.’
      • ‘The theater was in turmoil; the audience pressed forward, hoping to catch a glimpse of what was going on.’
      • ‘Transport planners at City of York Council are keen to press forward with a scheme which could dramatically cut congestion on York's roads.’
      • ‘Grunting in acknowledgement, too winded to speak, Alex pressed forward.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But, of course, in the longer term the two begin to press in common directions.’
      • ‘But the minute the Americans pressed forward, they were fired at from another angle.’
      • ‘Sparked by these moves, the Scots began to press forward with more purpose.’
      • ‘For all the endeavour of Oxford, it was the visitors who pressed forward.’
      • ‘In the second half of extra time, North Leigh pressed forward and with three minutes left Nick Forrester put the away team in front.’
      • ‘Leigh were almost non-existent as an attacking force as Chorley continued to press forward looking to increase their advantage.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Two local firms are showing their faith in the future by pressing forward with ambitious expansion plans.’
      • ‘It is up to them to decide whether to press forward at this juncture.’
      • ‘Hundreds of fans pressed around the Paris grave of The Doors cult singer Jim Morrison yesterday.’
      • ‘She saw the courtyard exactly as it had been, the soldiers pressing in all around her, but they did not attack.’
      • ‘That didn't stop them starting the second half well as they pressed forward.’
      cluster, gather
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4 (of an enemy or opponent) attack persistently and fiercely.
      no object ‘their enemies pressed in on all sides’
      with object ‘two assailants were pressing Agrippa’
      • ‘The Lilywhites were pressing hard and shot two wides before Mark Dempsey sent a ground shot to the Carlow net, with eleven minutes on the clock.’
      • ‘Lilly blasted a deflected shot against the bar from long range as the Americans continued to press but their profligate finishing almost cost them dearly.’
      • ‘However Peter Nicholson moved up to press Stirling all the way to the flag, with Higgins taking third ahead of Andy Thompson and Pat Boal.’
      • ‘We were physically drained from the first mission on oxygen, but the Army and Marine troops were relying on our support, so we pressed.’
      • ‘It is wise to press along a wide front in individual directions; fighting for the key objects is normally stubborn.’
      • ‘At 5-3 Rhydding were very much back in the game and continued to press, leaving themselves at times open at the back.’
      • ‘The President vowed on Saturday to hold his besieged capital against rebels pressing hard from the outskirts.’
      • ‘The swordsman renewed his attack, and another pressed in on her as well, both with sword and with magic.’
      • ‘Things began well enough with the Cougars pressing hard and Eddie Wilson was just held on the line, and although they took the lead with an early drop goal, it was scant reward for their pressure.’
      • ‘But with only 500 metres left to race there was only one second separating the top four boats with France and Croatia pressing hard.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As we pressed in, we got frequent weather updates from the crew 10 minutes ahead.’
      • ‘Maneuvering and the use of machine guns in fighting made infantry files pressing along the front inefficient.’
      • ‘The Irish continued to press, but Australia held on for victory - and a quarter-final against Scotland.’
      • ‘The enemy pressed in around him, suddenly brought back to life, but the youth fought them off, determined to get to the city.’
      • ‘Campion had their spirits up now and were pressing hard.’
    5. 1.5press on/aheadno object Continue in one's action.
      ‘he stubbornly pressed on with his work’
      • ‘Needless to say I ignored it at first, simply pressing on with the project I had at hand.’
      • ‘So for one to continue pressing ahead even when the body lacks the energy can be a waste of time.’
      • ‘Is it going to stop him from pressing on with the idea?’
      • ‘But council leader Dean Howson is determined to press ahead, saying councillors had to move with the times.’
      • ‘We will be pressing on with our plans, and talking to some interested tenants.’
      • ‘With so much opposition in store, it is tempting to ask why McConnell decided to press ahead with the move.’
      • ‘The National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers recently threatened strike action if local authorities pressed ahead with the move.’
      • ‘At that date Firle was continuing to press ahead with what was in reality its long contemplated refurbishment plan.’
      • ‘She said the boy's struggling may have deterred Blanchard from pressing on with the abduction.’
      • ‘Fortunately, North Yorkshire County Council is pressing on regardless with safety upgrades.’
      • ‘They'll just keep pressing on, and one of these days they'll meet some girls, I'm sure.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, the council intends to press ahead with plans to close Kimberworth, even if the move is turned down by the committee.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, we will press on and as I said we will continue to keep you right up to date with what is happening.’
      • ‘Now we're pressing on, moving into a second draft and starting the search for money.’
      • ‘Money talks and I think they will press ahead without research or debate for economic reasons along with the US.’
      • ‘When you run into an unknown, continue to press on and try to fill in the gaps.’
      • ‘Faced with findings like these, the PM may be tempted to push his luck by pressing ahead with crowd-pleasing new laws.’
      • ‘However, no disasters have ever stopped people from pressing on.’
      • ‘Balasingham's threats were an effort to push the government to press ahead with the peace process.’
      • ‘Police in Keighley are pressing ahead with a controversial proposal to move out of the town centre.’
  • 2with object Apply pressure to (something) to flatten, shape, or smooth it, typically by ironing.

    ‘she pressed her nicest blouse’
    ‘immaculately pressed trousers’
    • ‘He wore an immaculately starched and pressed navy blue suit and red tie.’
    • ‘This is the man who represents the epitome of style in his immaculately pressed shirts, tirelessly shined shoes and tailored business attire.’
    • ‘His shirt was white and ironed, the creases showing where it had been freshly pressed that morning.’
    • ‘Carve the meat into slices of about 1.5 to 2 cm thick, beat them with your hands and press them into shape.’
    • ‘The key to properly pressing your cotton dress shirts is to crank up your iron's heat to its maximum level.’
    • ‘She has usually started the prep work the day before, but she's now getting the turkey into the oven and pressing one of her vintage tablecloths.’
    • ‘Place a clean, heavy skillet on top of the sandwiches and carefully press them down to flatten.’
    • ‘Wool should be pressed with steam and a moderate temperature.’
    • ‘Fold the valance into pleats to take up the excess width, and press pleats with an iron.’
    • ‘Do you press your clothing before dressing for work… heating the iron every day?’
    • ‘A bit farther on, glowing one-ton ingots of steel thunder down rollers to be pressed into thin sheets.’
    • ‘Serged or double-stitched seams should be pressed toward the garment back whenever possible.’
    • ‘Her auburn hair was neatly combed and her tiny dress was immaculately pressed.’
    • ‘Bara ceirch, Welsh oatcakes, were pressed out into flat sheets by hand, and baked on heavy cast iron griddles.’
    • ‘Carefully packed away somewhere in the hand luggage were flags, hats and freshly pressed Mayo jerseys in readiness for the days ahead.’
    • ‘He dresses in immaculately pressed shalwar kameez and waistcoat - sheer Afghan chic.’
    • ‘She teaches them to iron a shirt in three minutes and how to press a pair of trousers.’
    • ‘When he wheels up to Stamford railway station to meet me off the train from New York, he is immaculately dressed in neatly pressed casual sportswear.’
    • ‘The salt may be added after the curd is cut into chunks or, if the cheese is pressed into shapes such as wheels or blocks, it can then be soaked in brine.’
    • ‘Ensure your interview suit is pressed, shoes polished and shirt ironed.’
    smooth, iron, smooth out, remove creases from, put creases in
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Apply pressure to (a flower or leaf) between sheets of paper in order to dry and preserve it.
      • ‘The specimens themselves are pressed flat, dried and mounted on paper and look remarkably good, given that they are over 300 years old.’
      • ‘He took out some leaves which had been dried after being pressed between the pages of magazines for a long time.’
      • ‘Once in a while, a leaf will remain beyond its normal time, or drop off and be pressed for future generations to admire.’
      • ‘Mature plants with uncertain identity were preserved by pressing to allow repeated examination by us and others for final identification.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In this book she has placed all the seasons like a leaf or a flower pressed between each page.’
      • ‘And he gives him a flower to press inside the pages of the friend's notebook.’
      • ‘In his spare time James enjoys flower pressing, needlework, chasing rabbits and Rugby League.’
      flatten, make flat, smooth out
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 Extract (juice or oil) by crushing or squeezing fruit, vegetables, etc.
      ‘freshly pressed grape juice’
      • ‘Take one tablespoon of cold pressed hemp seed oil (from good health food stores) daily.’
      • ‘‘Cold Pressed’ is simply a technique used in pressing the oil out of the olives.’
      • ‘Thus, the mash or seed cake that remains after the oil is pressed out can be used as animal feed.’
      • ‘My mouth waters at the thought of a rich, chewy Shiraz wine, freshly pressed, pungent olive oil, or refreshing, tart lemonade.’
      • ‘Thus they can press an oil that is more fragrant and flavorful than the bland oil pressed from sweet almonds.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Every morning we had our freshly pressed orange juice from the farm's orchard.’
      • ‘Virgin, unrefined, hemp seed oil is pressed from hemp seeds.’
      • ‘They are found in oily fish, beans, raw nuts, cold pressed seed and vegetable oils.’
      • ‘The pinas are roasted, shredded and the juice pressed out and put in tanks.’
      • ‘Following very strict guidelines, the oil is pressed right away.’
    3. 2.3 Squeeze or crush (fruit, vegetables, etc.) to extract the juice or oil.
      • ‘In the first case, they are made like a white wine; that's to say the grapes are crushed and/or pressed, then fermented without their skins.’
      • ‘The fruits are pressed in communal oil presses and, more often than not, transported by horse-drawn cart.’
      • ‘Afterwards the cooked chunks are pressed to extract a sweet juice called aguamiel or honey juice.’
      • ‘Next the seeds were removed by machine and kept for the next season's planting or sent to factories where they could be pressed to make linseed oil, used in the manufacture of paints and varnishes.’
      • ‘Still produced in the same way to this very day, grapes are picked and pressed early in the growing season and the free-run juice fermented for ten days.’
      • ‘The best of grapes has been brought from France and painstakingly cultivated over the years to yield the kind of fruit that can be pressed into wine.’
      • ‘Cottonseed is pressed for oil for human use and the residue is processed for animal feed.’
      • ‘As such they could be crushed and ground for use, like peppercorns, as well as pressed to make a juice.’
      • ‘Typically the sample is taken to the winery laboratory and crushed or pressed to obtain juice, which is then analysed for sugar and perhaps also acidity and pH.’
      • ‘In short it is pulped and boiled in two different ways and then pressed to extract juice.’
      • ‘The same species provides edible leaves and pleasantly flavoured seeds which, when mature, are not narcotic and are pressed to make a salad or cooking oil.’
      • ‘He presses sunflower oil seeds and filters the oil with a cloth gravity filter.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Considered a fruit, olives were eaten whole as food and pressed to make oil for cooking and medicinal uses.’
      • ‘When these grapes are picked and pressed, they extract a golden, sweet juice of unique concentration, bound up in a web of exquisite fruit acidity.’
      • ‘Peel and grate the ginger, then twist in a piece of muslin, or press through a sieve to extract the juice.’
      • ‘Cooking oil is a blend of several extra virgin olive oils sourced from all over Italy and produced from olives that are pressed at the height of their ripeness.’
      crush, squeeze, squash, compress, mash, pulp, reduce, clamp, pack down, tamp, condense, compact, trample, stamp, tread, grind, mill, pound, pulverize, macerate
      View synonyms
    4. 2.4 Manufacture (something, especially a phonograph record) by molding under pressure.
      • ‘These were then used to shape the matrixes from which the records were pressed.’
      • ‘Yeah, they are standing on their own two feet, pressing their own records and CDs.’
  • 3with object Forcefully put forward (an opinion, claim, or course of action)

    ‘Rose did not press the point’
    • ‘Sikhs are coming forward in increasing numbers to press claims against the authorities and people are beginning to have faith in the judicial process.’
    • ‘Henry V's strategy was Edward's - to ally with French nobles to exploit their divisions and press his own dynastic claim.’
    • ‘To press his case, he felt compelled to reveal much of his privately held company's production strategy and financial information.’
    • ‘Yet the question may be pressed: why talk about intentional objects in these cases at all, if there is no real thing which one is thinking about?’
    • ‘Such distinction should not be pressed too far in the exercise of judgment required by the Directive.’
    • ‘The second pitfall is that you are using a false plea in order to press your claim.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He does not press ambitious claims, and each of his opinions is firmly anchored in the law.’
    • ‘The reference to a ‘pipeline’ is, of course, pejorative hyperbole and is not to be pressed.’
    • ‘The company should therefore have pressed its objections on this ground.’
    • ‘We've been pressing a very reasonable list of demands, but unsuccessfully, I'm afraid.’
    • ‘Now the newsagents are pressing their concerns on that issue of returns.’
    • ‘The Industrialists were pressing their own constitutional demands.’
    • ‘A city centre store and council staff have joined forces to press the safe food message - with an assault on shoppers' carrier bags.’
    • ‘It is unlikely that the EU will press that position in the trade talks, given the delicate state of negotiations with developing countries.’
    • ‘The GMPTE will continue to press what it sees as an unanswerable economic case that the Metrolink extension provides the best solution.’
    • ‘If my husband wanted to paint the room in his team's colours and I preferred something neutral, chances are he would not press the point.’
    • ‘Sydney Roosters utility forward Michael Crocker pressed his claims for Test selection with two of the Kangaroos' six tries tries.’
    plead, urge, advance insistently, file, prefer, lodge, tender, present, place, lay, submit, put forward
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 Make strong efforts to persuade or force (someone) to do or provide 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’
      • ‘The former Manchester United midfielder is being pressed for a decision on a new deal.’
      • ‘Provincial governments should be pressed to take an open-ended approach to the needs of children rather than to engage in long and costly court battles.’
      • ‘Coun Kevin Lancaster said the council should press the Environment Agency to carry out the work after 2006.’
      • ‘Charities now press us for our cash by post, over the phone, on the street and on our doorstep.’
      • ‘Certainly, the construction industry will be pressing the minister to see whether Scotland's ravaged road system will receive any spending.’
      • ‘When pressed for specifics on the protest, Phelps hung up, saying he was too busy to talk.’
      • ‘In the article I also wonder if we, in the UK, shouldn't be pressing the BBC to take on this task.’
      • ‘Marginal seats will also be targeted during the General Election, with candidates being pressed to say whether they will insist on a referendum, if elected.’
      • ‘In the early eighteenth century, rents were falling and landowners had little incentive to press for short lets.’
      • ‘As the two friends talk with Joyce, Jens presses her for more and more personal information, including her strangest client.’
      • ‘He should press our NATO allies to open training centers in their countries.’
      • ‘Now, three governors whose states are among the hardest hit are pressing lawmakers on Capitol Hill and the administration to take action.’
      • ‘We will be pressing the government on the issue of visas for international people, because they now make up a large percentage of the people working in our industry.’
      • ‘Mr Pearson was by then pressing quite hard for exchange of contracts.’
      • ‘Mrs Jones said the county council had been pressed for action.’
      • ‘The Scottish Executive said it was aware of the problems facing the venison industry and was pressing the EU to lift the ban region by region.’
      • ‘Political parties of all shades should unite to press Whitehall for financial parity.’
      • ‘In a case heard at Skipton County Court, a railway worker earning 23 shillings a week was being pressed for non-payment of a debt.’
      • ‘We eagerly anticipate your trip to our nation's capital that you proposed in your last letter, and several of us are pressing the Director to pay for it.’
      • ‘It's possible that the development might get journalists off the hook, as they were being pressed to reveal their sources to the inquiry.’
      urge, pressure, put pressure on, pressurize, force, drive, impel, push, coerce, nag
      pressurize, pressure, push, goad, dragoon, steamroller, browbeat, importune, wheedle, cajole, sway, argue, talk
      call, ask, clamour, push, make a claim, campaign
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2press something on/upon Insist that (someone) accept an offer or gift.
      ‘he pressed dinner invitations on her’
      • ‘She pressed an invitation on me and asked if I liked the work shown.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The council's financial experts say action is vital because of the Government pressing extra responsibilities on all councils without giving extra funding and the fact its £30m savings are dwindling fast.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 3.3no object (of something, especially time) be in short supply and so demand immediate action.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The effort must begin at once, for time pressed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    4. 3.4be pressed Have barely enough of something, especially time.
      ‘I'm very pressed for time’
      • ‘The government-run facility had been pressed for money and had no extra funds to refurbish the busy center.’
      • ‘As I've been pressed for time with a forthcoming project and then a trip out of town, what follows are a few notes from each of those weekend contests.’
      • ‘The real reason is that all are pressed for time.’
      • ‘Everyone is pressed for time during the holidays, but that shouldn't stop you from making a lovely batch of Christmas cookies.’
      • ‘Parents must be given the time they need to make decisions and brainstorm options, even if teachers themselves are pressed for time.’
      • ‘Some schools are so pressed for money, the students don't even have their own textbooks.’
      • ‘For one, kids today grow up with a different type of parent - one who is more pressed for time.’
      • ‘I would propose to come back at 2.15 unless counsel think that we are going to be unduly pressed for time.’
      • ‘But he may be more pressed for time with the Liberals now having to divide all portfolios between only five MPs.’
      • ‘This decision has caused the leadership of the ruling coalition to be pressed for time.’
      • ‘The other party may be pressed for time and therefore cannot be involved in gathering all the pertinent facts.’
      • ‘If you live in a small apartment, then you might be pressed for space more than most people.’
      • ‘In the future, the university will be able to articulate its own vision for how it will encourage its diversity in a campus constantly pressed for space, time and resources.’
      • ‘In addition to being pressed for time, he seems a bit paranoid.’
      • ‘The quick, efficient way to find out how to work with digital video for today's computer user who is pressed for time.’
      • ‘What passengers would be so pressed for time that they would spend the entire night sending out a barrage of e-mails?’
      • ‘We will be pressed for time so we're taking Trip Advisor's recommendations and will see three buildings in our walk-about.’
      have too little, be short of, have barely enough, have an insufficiency of, have insufficient, lack, be lacking, be lacking in, be wanting, be deficient in, be deprived of, be low on, need, be in need of, stand in need of
      View synonyms
    5. 3.5be pressed to do something Have difficulty doing or achieving something.
      ‘they may be hard pressed to keep their promise’
      • ‘You will be hard pressed to beat this restaurant anywhere.’
      • ‘The gentleman in question has been pastor to the whole community for more than 40 years and a finer man you'd be hard pressed to find.’
      • ‘The Berea police were pressed to handle such a large crowd and the Ohio National Guard was brought in to assist.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 4Weightlifting
    with object Raise (a specified weight) by first lifting it to shoulder height and then gradually pushing it upward above the head.

    • ‘Make sure your hips stay on the bench as you press the weight, but you can arch your back a little.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Gunter adjusts the seat so that he can press the weight directly out from mid-pec level.’
    • ‘Overexhaling as you press the weight up causes your shoulders to come forward and your rib cage to compress as your lungs deflate.’
    • ‘Extend your arm only at your elbow to press the weight up toward the ceiling, squeeze your triceps at the top and lower slowly.’
  • 5Golf
    no object Try too hard to achieve distance with a shot, at the risk of inaccuracy.

    • ‘This is not a good golf course to start pressing on.’

noun

  • 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’
    • ‘By the time of Archimedes, it is likely that screws of wood already were being used for vises and for fruit presses.’
    • ‘These sheets are fed into large presses with casts shaped into a particular body panel, like a door, bonnet roof and bodies.’
    • ‘His pop career stumbled after their debut vinyl single emerged from the presses as oval rather than round.’
    • ‘The olives must be picked in time and then brought to the olive press, where the golden liquid is extracted: olive oil.’
    • ‘Whole clusters go into a press in which the juice is extracted and pumped into a big stainless steel tank.’
    • ‘A duck press, for non-culinary readers, is a kitchen device used for extracting the juice of a duck or chicken.’
    • ‘One of the first applications of the screw was in presses for the extraction of oil from olives and juice from grapes.’
    • ‘Unlike the laundries I've used since coming to the city, we inspected shirts for buttons broken by the presses and sewed on new ones without being asked.’
    • ‘The mechanical press applies up to 2tons/square inch of pressure to the face of the bat through a roller.’
    • ‘Served on excellent baguettes and flattened in a sandwich press, a hoggie is a Mexican torta with an identity crisis.’
    • ‘Wish I'd now how to do cider or at least some apple juice, but it think it would involve a press and I don't have one.’
    • ‘In a normal molding process, the press keeps pushing plastic into the mold, putting a great deal of stress on the part.’
    • ‘So if anyone deserves being immortalised on celluloid, it is those 12 North Yorkshire women who posed in the buff behind flower arrangements and apple presses.’
    • ‘Of particular interest are the remains of the presses used for the extraction of olive oil, which was produced on a large scale in the region in antiquity.’
    • ‘There are sausage-makers, pasta makers, mincers, olive presses and, there on the shelf behind one of the proprietors, a rugged little cheesegrater.’
    • ‘We cut the tyres and shape them in a press ready for fitting in segments to the steel rims.’
    • ‘Scrumpy is the West Country name for cider, produced by the natural fermentation of apple juice; all you need is a press, a few barrels and a lot of apples.’
    • ‘The following year, we picked flowers again, but this time to put in homemade flower presses.’
    • ‘Each comes with absorbent pads and fabric liners that draw moisture from the flowers and expel it through vents in the press.’
    1. 1.1 A machine that applies pressure to a workpiece by means of a tool, in order to punch shapes.
      • ‘With the emphasis on flexibility, the robots working between the individual presses change the pick-up tools when required.’
      • ‘The main floor was littered with machinery and workbenches, the bulk and arches of cast-iron lathes, presses, moulds and mini furnaces.’
      • ‘With many types of capital equipment, you buy a new factory, truck, or machine press when the old one breaks or when it no longer suits your needs.’
      • ‘Before their fiscal year ends, this month, they plan to shop for a new computer and a press for their assembly shop.’
      • ‘After it is cut down, sheet stock goes to the turret punch to get holes put in as needed, goes to a brake press to be bent.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2A printing press.

    • ‘The posters are hand-pulled on the Old World presses using hand-drawn printing plates, one plate for each color in the poster.’
    • ‘Without advertisers, there would not be money to pay journalists to gather news, money to buy newsprint, or money to buy presses and pay for printing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Judy Grahn starts a mimeograph press in Oakland that becomes the Women's Press Collective.’
    • ‘But in 1974, after industrial action and lean times down south, the Glasgow presses were shut and printing was transferred to Manchester.’
    • ‘It has rolled off the presses down at McPherson's Printing in Victoria.’
    • ‘In this case, more than one newspaper might be printed on the same press.’
    • ‘The other result was that Bob became skilled at hand setting lines of display type, locking up printing formes and hand feeding both treadle and motorised presses.’
    • ‘Printing is a competitive business: hundreds of small printers stopped their presses last year.’
    • ‘Hugo Goes established his press at York in 1509.’
    • ‘Printers and their presses were to be found in every major city and town.’
    • ‘We had already made the metal plates up at the printers ready to roll the presses.’
    • ‘Early printers used a wooden press, types, paper, and ink.’
    • ‘Another is a printing company equipped with high-end German presses.’
    • ‘More exciting for David was a visit to Colour World in Kilkenny to watch as his design rolling off the presses and turn into a card!’
    • ‘Windows are added at street level so that passers-by can watch the press and printmakers at work.’
    • ‘Migne's printers set older editions in close-packed, double-columned reprints from stereotypes on steam-driven presses.’
    printing press, printing machine
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1often in names A business that prints or publishes books.
      ‘the Clarendon Press’
      • ‘All three books were published by university presses.’
      • ‘Well, as part of my professional life in education I was involved in running a small university press, which published academic books.’
      • ‘Mass-market calendar publishers and black presses are opening the floodgates of African American theme products this coming year.’
      • ‘Two books published by university presses demonstrate just how enriching the change can be.’
      • ‘Seazoom is the third book published by local press Passwords Enterprises, headed by poet Vivian Hansen.’
      • ‘The result was that, in the UK, even quite small university presses would print 1,000 copies of books which they knew were never going to sell that many.’
      • ‘He is the author of Natural Atheism, a book which will be published by American Atheist press later this year.’
      • ‘In the academic world, we don't get to publish our books at academic presses without peer review.’
      • ‘The editor who acquired it had a background in university press publishing.’
      • ‘I also told the board about a book just published by MIT press, The Origination of Organismal Form.’
      • ‘The book is published by a Jesuit press and strongly endorsed by current leaders of the Society.’
      • ‘Yet the fact is that the old song is still being sung and published by a reputable press and promoted for sale in Canadian bookstores.’
      • ‘Bibr is the only periodical to offer self-published writers the same review attention as those published by other presses.’
      • ‘In order to get material to put on their sites, the on-line libraries have made partnerships with a myriad of corporate publishers and university presses.’
      • ‘Broken Boulder press recently published two of his chapbooks: Notestalk and Notationing.’
      • ‘After being published by small presses, Amy finally sent in some of her work to Serpent's Tail, who were thrilled and promptly asked her to come up with an idea for an anthology.’
      • ‘Small presses also publish most English translations of French-Canadian literature.’
      • ‘Digital journals have meant a reduced dependence on commercial publishing houses or academic presses.’
      • ‘University presses have published books and subsequently left the archiving to printers.’
      • ‘Phillips started with plays, and three were published by a small press in the early 1980s.’
      publishing house, publishing company, printing business, printing establishment, printing firm, printing house
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 The process of printing.
      ‘the book is ready to go to press’
      • ‘Currently, 13 papers have been published or are in press from this experiment.’
      • ‘He has a book in press about social class.’
      • ‘Also in press is a book on the concept of the soul in the Age of Reason, but a planned social and cultural history of England from the Civil War to the present day was only just begun.’
  • 3the presstreated as singular or plural Newspapers or journalists viewed collectively.

    ‘the press was notified’
    as modifier ‘press coverage’
    • ‘There have been innumerable letters and articles in the press and extensive media coverage, generally ill informed.’
    • ‘And the press coverage just got bigger and bigger, and the audiences seemed to get more and more into it.’
    • ‘Judicial officials would not comment on the press reports, arguing that the content of the council's meetings are not made public.’
    • ‘They had no way out because of the press of people behind them.’
    • ‘Senior MPs know they can leak with impunity to journalists because the press isn't going to bite the hand that feeds it.’
    • ‘I expect it to get acres of column inches in the press next week.’
    • ‘Yet the courts have not granted full freedom of the press to high school newspapers.’
    • ‘We begin with a parting word for the longest-serving reporter in the press room.’
    • ‘Rather than hearing the made up journalistic accounts in the press you can make your own mind up.’
    • ‘She views most of the press hysteria surrounding her, for example, as hilarious.’
    • ‘The firm's management refused to talk to the press, and journalists were kept away by security guards.’
    • ‘‘I know, as a journalist, that the press need something to hang an event on,’ he said.’
    • ‘Some of the press reportage of this study has been very good on pointing out the flaws in the report.’
    • ‘His desire to meet the demands of the press resulted in reporters grousing about having to wait for long periods of time to talk to him.’
    • ‘As media royal watchers will tell you, she treats the press pack with contempt, but has made her impact without them.’
    • ‘At the press briefing a reporter asked whether this would mean that lenders would start limiting the number of credit cards issued to customers.’
    • ‘In fact, the few New Zealand touring fans and journalists on tour have had more coverage in the press than the players.’
    • ‘After a couple of test runs, Hughes had reporters get off the plane and lined up the press boats to give them a good view.’
    • ‘The idea is to slip the product into the marketplace without allowing the press to view the material before consumers can get their hands on it.’
    • ‘While I do not approve of the manager's views the press were out to get him out of the England job.’
    • ‘Many of the most stringent critics of the practices and performance of journalists come from the press itself.’
    the media, the newspapers, the papers, the news media, journalism, the newspaper world, the newspaper business, the print media, the fourth estate
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 Coverage in newspapers and magazines.
      ‘there's no point in demonstrating if you don't get any press’
      in singular ‘the mayor has had a bad press for years’
      • ‘This has earned the duo a torrent of bad press from the national newspapers, BBC Watchdog and the Government.’
      • ‘Getting press as a graphic designer does not insure fame outside the profession, or respect in it either.’
      • ‘There was also a cricket writer during the last England tour who gave us bad press in the London Daily Telegraph.’
      • ‘I think that I need to detail the board's main argument in the appeal, since it may get little press.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The first issue of Radar magazine generated so much press, the magazine itself was almost besides the point.’
      • ‘They called on it to react every time Bulgaria gets bad press in the world's major business newspapers and magazines.’
      • ‘She would expose his torrid affair to the press somehow and all the bad press would force Jamie to ask him to step down.’
      • ‘Gene therapy does not get as much press as cell therapy.’
      • ‘I was astonished that the book managed to get published, much less get any press at all.’
      • ‘The minister stepped from the battle bus into a street fight, flooring the Government's hopes of a good press in the process.’
      • ‘But this column is not about the mayor's possible problems with the press but about bad press in general.’
      reports, press treatment, press coverage, press reporting, press articles, press reviews, press write-ups
      View synonyms
  • 4An act of pressing something.

    ‘the system summons medical help at the press of a button’
    • ‘It gives the reader a wide choice of material at the press of a button.’
    • ‘In the age of instant gratification, where everything can be available at the flick of a switch or the press of a button, it's an effort to get to a voting station.’
    • ‘So from the comfort of their own home, one can find out a lot of information at the press of a button.’
    • ‘How can I add my rather long e-mail address with just a single press of a key?’
    • ‘It has never been quicker to get information and we can realistically expect to speak to someone on the other side of the world by telephone at the press of a few buttons.’
    • ‘A firm and soft press of his lips to mine seemed to answer the question.’
    • ‘A super-fast, 360 degree turn can be performed with the simple press of a button.’
    • ‘Screens froze, buttons took three presses to function and, most distressingly, half my address book made itself invisible.’
    • ‘Communication begins with a single press of the PTT button on the handset.’
    • ‘At the press of a button, I could tell what temperature it was in their nursery too, which takes spying to a whole new level in my book.’
    • ‘That the Revenue could, if they so wished, at the press of a button also create a list of those taxpayers who have overpaid their taxes.’
    • ‘The keys emit soft clicks with each key press, much more discreet than the loud beep.’
    • ‘Now, as the electronic gates of Woodhouselee swing silently open at the press of a button, you step into the past.’
    • ‘At the press of a button the user can ascend the rope and then come down just as quickly.’
    • ‘A quick press and the car eats traffic and hills as if they simply did not exist.’
    • ‘The name of the family comes from the special technology that allows the user to back up data with a single press of the button on the front panel.’
    • ‘We also have over 50 client-load machines that can be moved into the STP at the press of a key.’
    • ‘At the press of a button, the bike lets out beeps and the lights start flashing, making it easy for you to locate it in a crowded parking lot.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 4.1in singular A closely packed crowd or mass of people or things.
      ‘among the press of cars he saw a taxi’
      • ‘I saw their escorts, some of them guards, some of them officials, all around them to hold off the press of the crowd.’
      • ‘I searched for the ship he had pointed out earlier, but it was hard to move through the press of the crowd.’
      • ‘I spotted my wife waving off to one side and squeezed through the growing press of parents to reach her.’
      • ‘Apparently people are fainting left, right and center because of the press of the crowd.’
      • ‘I peered around, hoping to see one of my friends, but either the press of the crowd was too great or they hadn't come in yet.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The press of bodies was overwhelming at first, but as they made their way further into the club they were able to find some breathing room.’
    2. 4.2dated Pressure of business.
    3. 4.3Basketball Any of various forms of close guarding by the defending team.
      • ‘He is big, fast and versatile enough to play a receiver out of the slot or in press or zone coverage.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Some teams fall out of their press and go into a quick matchup man to man, just to give you an idea of the versatility available.’
  • 5Weightlifting
    An act of raising a weight to shoulder height and then gradually pushing it above the head.

    • ‘The overhead press and overhead lateral raise are good movements to make your shoulders wider.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Start your shoulder workout with heavy presses of some sort and bump front dumbbell raises to number three or four in your exercise order.’
    • ‘All variations of shoulder presses are unique, but their similarities are greater than their differences.’
  • 6Scottish Irish A large cupboard.

    • ‘Upstairs, the master bedroom is floored in solid ash and includes a dressing room with fitted wardrobes and presses as well as an en suite shower room.’
    • ‘The large kitchen is fitted with cherrywood presses, dark granite worktops and a tiled splashback.’
    • ‘The fitted kitchen/breakfast room features a number of built-in presses, worktops and cupboards and plenty of food preparation space.’
    • ‘Behind the kitchen is the utility room, with matching worktop and presses, a stainless steel sink and plumbing for a washing machine.’
    • ‘Wardrobes or linen presses can serve in a kitchen as a larder or anything you fancy.’
    • ‘The room also includes an original dumb waiter, which has been converted into a built-in drinks cabinet with integrated storage presses.’
    • ‘Upstairs, the master bedroom is to the front of the house and has a bank of wardrobes with overhead presses along with an en suite shower room.’
    • ‘The kitchen features an extensive range of built-in wooden presses, a brown worktop and patterned tiled splashback.’
    • ‘The floor-to-ceiling press is plumbed for a concealed washing machine.’
    • ‘The room features an open fireplace with a cream tiled surround and inset, and there is a fitted corner cupboard with display presses.’
    • ‘Clean out your presses and fridge and keep only a minimum amount of these treats on hand, because children learn to like the foods they are offered most often.’

Phrases

  • press (the) flesh

    • informal (of a celebrity or politician) greet people by shaking hands.

      • ‘Salesmen from Canteen were pressing flesh and passing out business cards.’
      • ‘Paul Hackett is out for one last day of pressing the flesh.’
      • ‘The visuals show the youthful legislator on the move, walking through what Fogerty calls ‘Americana sets,’ meeting people, pressing the flesh.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His designated role for the festival will be to press the flesh and meet and greet as many people as he can.’
      • ‘Dean was out in the rain in Little Rock, pressing the flesh, pushing his cause.’
      • ‘The corporation's political adviser was officially north of the Border to press the flesh of the senior management and meet the leaders of Scotland's four main political parties.’
      • ‘Politicians hold clinics in pubs, press the flesh, have to be seen to be personable.’
      • ‘When it comes to pressing the flesh and ensuring the small nations are looked after, the president knows on which side his breakfast toast is buttered.’
      • ‘And he has undergone a transformation from aloof politician to one who knows how to press the flesh and talk with villagers.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

press

/prɛs//pres/

Main definitions of press in English

: press1press2

press2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]press someone/something into
  • 1Put (someone or something) to a specified use, especially as a temporary or makeshift measure.

    ‘many of these stones have been pressed into service as gateposts’
    • ‘As it transpired, Sean Ryan was unable to line out on Saturday, while Michael Frisby and Eoin Kelly were both pressed into service out of necessity.’
    • ‘Fort Union, an old trading post the military had pressed into service, seemed like a metropolis to the weary soldiers.’
    • ‘The town hall and the town's ice-rink were pressed into service as temporary mortuaries.’
    • ‘Sometimes Duncan was pressed into service as a coachman.’
    • ‘Charlie is hired as a stagehand but naturally gets pressed into service as an actor as well.’
    • ‘Madison's stirring words have been pressed into service on behalf of a cause very different from the one he had in mind.’
    • ‘Palmer had been pressed into service as a spy in lieu of spending a long stint behind bars.’
    • ‘At one stage, even a pleasure cruiser had to be pressed into service by contractors to work on new buildings fronting on to the River Foss.’
    • ‘Even coach Andy Gair was pressed into service on the wing and he did enough to remind his charges of his pedigree.’
    • ‘Dundee United manager Alex Smith thereafter may be pressed into service in this role.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It's a dawn till dusk activity, with every tractor available being pressed into service.’
    • ‘A mechanism that works extremely well as a brake may lead to disaster when pressed into service as an accelerator.’
    • ‘This will matter not a jot to many prospective buyers as few are pressed into service as family cars.’
    • ‘The Bund Signal Tower, which fell into disuse over 100 years ago, is to be pressed into service again.’
    • ‘Federal law enforcement officials from other agencies are being quickly trained and pressed into service until the new crop of marshals is hired.’
    • ‘Sooner or later an outside resource has to be pressed into service to figure out what is causing the problem.’
    • ‘The most unusual form of transport was a dinghy pressed into service by Bedford Rotary Club, who traveled some 40Km to Brampton.’
    • ‘Re-entering settler society, the ‘wild white man’ was pardoned, and pressed into service as a government interpreter.’
    • ‘He was pressed into service as best man on several occasions and was a great companion at both formal and informal dinners, when he would demonstrate his knowledge of wines and good food.’
    1. 1.1historical Force (a man) to enlist in the army or navy.
      • ‘At least a third had been pressed into the Navy.’

noun

historical
  • A forcible enlistment of men, especially for the navy.

    • ‘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 press) of obsolete prest ‘pay given on enlistment, enlistment by such payment’, from Old French prest ‘loan, advance pay’, based on Latin praestare ‘provide’.

Pronunciation

press

/prɛs//pres/