Definition of pressure in US English:



  • 1Continuous physical force exerted on or against an object by something in contact with it.

    ‘the slight extra pressure he applied to her hand’
    • ‘Users can select the contact pressure, position, separation rate, and test duration.’
    • ‘Nikki took his foot in her lap and applied slight pressure to the tender spot.’
    • ‘They had to undergo genetic alterations to prepare them for the gravitational pressures of these gates.’
    • ‘We reported peak contact pressure since peak pressure may have a direct impact on joint degeneration.’
    • ‘Black Blaze responded to the slightest pressure on his flank or feel of his mane.’
    • ‘I heard a slight moan from his chest as Salian applied pressure to his back.’
    • ‘For pushdowns, I like to keep my elbow joints working like simple hinges and not put extra pressure on them.’
    • ‘What do you see as some of the causes of the gravitational pressures bearing down on them?’
    • ‘Continuous negative pressure applied to a wound is now an established method for managing patients' wounds in hospital.’
    • ‘Continuous screw presses in particular often exert such pressure that the product is excessively bitter and astringent.’
    • ‘The open cone shaped nozzle allows the outward expansion of the hot gas to exert pressure on the rocket as it flies.’
    • ‘Conductance declined exponentially with applied pressure for both roots and stems.’
    • ‘Osmotic pressure is a measure of the extra pressure that has to be exerted to counteract osmosis.’
    • ‘Radial pressures exerted by roots on the surrounding soil are also believed to be a critical feature in penetration of hard soils.’
    • ‘This scissoring of the bones causes extra pressure to be forced upon the Carpal Tunnel.’
    • ‘The jaw musculature is immensely strong, giving rise to huge pressures and displacement forces.’
    • ‘One girl liked to be held down while she was kissed, so there was always a lot of physical pressure on the kiss itself.’
    • ‘The applied suction pressure caused xylem sap flow into the capillary where it could be collected with a syringe.’
    • ‘Next, she uses her toes to dig into troublesome knots, and her heel to apply extra pressure where needed.’
    • ‘Usually the honey is extracted by crushing the comb and letting the honey drain out, often helped by extra pressure from a centrifuge.’
    1. 1.1 The force exerted per unit area.
      ‘gas can be fed to the turbines at a pressure of around 250 psi’
      • ‘Upon compression, DPPC can pack into a gel phase that can resist these high surface pressures.’
      • ‘Selected areas were studied using a variable pressure SEM in backscattered electron mode.’
      • ‘These high pore-water pressures reduce the contact between grains, thus reducing the frictional strength of the soil.’
      • ‘Flow demand was estimated from mean inspiratory flow on continuous positive airway pressure.’
      • ‘Both systems exhibit two different regions of coexisting liquid phases at low surface pressures.’
      • ‘The electrons exert a pressure on the ions just like an ideal gas exerts pressure on the walls of a confining box.’
      • ‘Relative loads and peak pressures for all areas were extracted for each step.’
      • ‘A fluid storage and dispensing system comprising a vessel for holding a fluid at a desired pressure.’
      • ‘This may contribute to an elevation and lateralization of PFJ contact pressures.’
      • ‘I would like to look now at the potential ranges of pressures on the suction side of the compressor.’
      • ‘The Earth's highest surface air pressures are found in masses of very cold air over places such as Siberia.’
      • ‘As for the control, the resulting new steady-state pressures and reflection coefficients of the OPR were measured.’
      • ‘These compressed POPC films were stable for extended periods at very high surface pressures.’
      • ‘To reach high surface pressures, the rate of compression must then exceed the rate of collapse.’
      • ‘Cracks can occur from concentrated pressures exerted by incorrectly placed fill material.’
      • ‘Exposure to air can drastically change not only miscibility transitions, but also surface pressures.’
      • ‘For example, the reported duration of daily continuous positive airway pressure varied by a factor of 10.’
      • ‘The systems and methods apply positive and negative fluid pressures to operate the pump and valve.’
      • ‘The peptides seem to form metastable films which can be compressed to relatively large surface pressures.’
      • ‘They found an enhancement of ABA incorporation by monolayers at low surface pressures only under acid conditions.’
      force, physical force, load, stress, thrust
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  • 2The use of persuasion, influence, or intimidation to make someone do something.

    ‘the many pressures on girls to worry about their looks’
    ‘the proposals put pressure on Britain to drop its demand’
    • ‘The first is that advertising piles deliberate pressure on parents with the pester power of the child.’
    • ‘But it took much in the way of arm-twisting and political pressure to get them to agree to the trip.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘In my dictionary it is violence used to put pressure on a government or society.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Commercial channels are under pressure from advertisers to attract a younger audience.’
    • ‘There could be no question of pressure or intimidation.’
    • ‘The government must resist political pressure for additional funding from all sides to avoid deficit spending.’
    • ‘He blames the UW administration and government pressure for the increase in students.’
    • ‘This put pressure on government and political figures in Scotland to react in a similar way.’
    • ‘He is not intimidated by pressure, and the club is trying to take advantage of that as much as possible.’
    • ‘The food industry is under intense pressure to curtail its marketing in the face of rising levels of childhood obesity.’
    • ‘In both cases, maximum available pressure was demanded and used in order to alter the domestic laws of other countries.’
    • ‘So mental health professionals will be under pressure to practise defensively and, if in doubt, to detain.’
    • ‘There is great political pressure on the current government to upgrade services in all these areas.’
    • ‘We don't have a charter and we don't have pressure from shareholders demanding profits and wanting to see readership figures.’
    • ‘If management bothered to put pressure on Government for more funding, they wouldn't need to raise them either.’
    • ‘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
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    1. 2.1 The influence or effect of someone or something.
      ‘oil prices came under some downward pressure’
      • ‘She realises now that financial pressure could have an influence on her game.’
      • ‘That way this self-contained unit will not put pressure on resources in towns and cities.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Tougher penalties for people-smugglers implement a six point plan to put downward pressure on petrol prices.’
      • ‘He says the expected release of land should take considerable pressure off demand for housing blocks and see a drop in prices.’
      • ‘The use of innovative medicines also reduces pressure on hospital resources.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was felt that the unemployment situation had already placed downward pressure on wages in the town.’
      • ‘He is adamant he has closed a deal which does not place undue pressure on his resources.’
      • ‘Oil prices were under further pressure yesterday due to concerns about supply and demand.’
      • ‘There is increasing pressure on the resources, as I have already mentioned.’
      • ‘It is well known that population explosion mounts enormous pressure on environment and resources.’
      • ‘An SHA spokeswoman said a significant increase in the number of patients treated had put considerable pressure on resources.’
      • ‘This was to avoid putting pressure on construction resources at the end this year.’
      • ‘But Xiao does not believe that aluminium prices will face downward pressure.’
      effect, impact
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    2. 2.2 The feeling of stressful urgency caused by the necessity of doing or achieving something, especially with limited time.
      ‘you need to be able to work under pressure and not get flustered’
      ‘some offenders might find prison a refuge against the pressures of the outside world’
      • ‘About half of Hong Kong people suffer from hair loss due to stress and working pressure, a study has shown.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This is the bit I hate, what if it makes people feel all stressed and under pressure to perform?’
      • ‘They made me comfortable and it is a team with no pressure, no stress, and we can just get down to working.’
      • ‘The pressure of demand for services and for urban jobs is mounting, and unemployment is on the rise.’
      • ‘The stress and pressure of studying increases the body's demand for nutrients.’
      • ‘The break from the grinding pressure of county demands will only help him to refine his football focus.’
      • ‘I felt an enormous sense of pressure to do that, but I didn't know if I would be able to.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I say it's just not worth stressing over and putting pressure on yourself or your lover.’
      • ‘There's a new kind of pressure and an increased sense of urgency about dealing with problems.’
      • ‘But hospital chiefs say they cannot operate on any new patients because of the huge demand and pressure on surgeons' time.’
      • ‘Nursing and support staff do a wonderful job but are constantly under pressure from ever dwindling resources.’
      • ‘Yet in the case of HIV vaccines the scientific community is, for humanitarian reasons, under pressure to move with urgency.’
      • ‘Modern prosperity may be greater but modern life is pressure and stress.’
      • ‘In some cases, parents may come under intolerable pressure and stress, which leads to them harm their own children.’
      • ‘But many didn't arrive on Saturday and angry parents say the delay has piled on pressure at an already stressful time.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In 1984, he resigned from the council and the Planning Authority due to pressure of work at the warehouse.’
      strain, stress, tension, heat, burden, load, weight, drain, trouble, care, adversity, difficulty
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[with object]
  • Attempt to persuade or coerce (someone) into doing something.

    ‘it might now be possible to pressure him into resigning’
    with object and infinitive ‘she pressured her son to accept a job offer from the bank’
    • ‘There have been very few reported cases of tourists being pressured after refusing to pay.’
    • ‘The key is whether the woman was actually capable of choosing her own vote or if she was pressured into doing so.’
    • ‘The gals are really pressuring you, and it does sound delightfully tempting.’
    • ‘To me, pressuring people to withdraw their support for the award is challenging the good faith of the body which chose the winner.’
    • ‘After all, I'd been pressuring him for years to recall this now famous classmate.’
    • ‘She didn't want to do it but he pressured her and badgered her until she finally gave in.’
    • ‘The authorities are pressuring me to bring these people to them to record their statements but I am helpless as they refuse to go.’
    • ‘He stood at the gates in sun and downpours of rain but never pressured anyone for a shilling.’
    • ‘She claims she approached the bishop with the news and pressured him for action.’
    • ‘If his family had succeeded in pressuring him to end the relationship, he would have been lost and devalued.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘According to her, some of her friends are pressuring her to do that.’
    • ‘Constantly it seems we are pressured to declare our allegiance to one side or the other.’
    • ‘Mr. Harvey had great expectations of his son, and pressured him to pursue the same career path.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They both came forward at the same time, standing on either side of him, as though pressuring him to wake her.’
    • ‘Soon he came home worried because some kids were pressuring him to join their gang.’
    • ‘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
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Late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin pressura, from press- ‘pressed’, from the verb premere (see press).