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[presh-er] /ˈprɛʃ ər/
the exertion of force upon a surface by an object, fluid, etc., in contact with it:
the pressure of earth against a wall.
Physics. force per unit area. Symbol: P.
Compare stress (def 6).
Meteorology. atmospheric pressure.
Electricity. electromotive force.
the state of being pressed or compressed.
harassment; oppression:
the pressures of daily life.
a constraining or compelling force or influence:
the social pressures of city life; financial pressure.
urgency, as of affairs or business:
He works well under pressure.
Obsolete. that which is impressed.
verb (used with object), pressured, pressuring.
to force (someone) toward a particular end; influence:
They pressured him into accepting the contract.
Origin of pressure
1350-1400; Middle English (noun) < Latin pressūra. See press1, -ure
Related forms
pressureless, adjective
interpressure, adjective
nonpressure, noun, adverb
superpressure, noun, adjective
underpressure, noun
unpressured, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pressuring
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You're holding our radioactives off the market, pressuring the government for a price rise which it can't afford.

    Medal of Honor Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • Five is somewhat better, the sky is pressuring evening and, by six, is big with shadows that foresee the coming dark.

    The Land of Look Behind Paul Cameron Brown
  • I hope you didn't think I was probing into your personal affairs or pressuring you too severely.

    Warren Commission (8 of 26): Hearings Vol. VIII (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
British Dictionary definitions for pressuring


the state of pressing or being pressed
the exertion of force by one body on the surface of another
a moral force that compels: to bring pressure to bear
an urgent claim or demand or series of urgent claims or demands: to work under pressure
a burdensome condition that is hard to bear: the pressure of grief
the normal force applied to a unit area of a surface, usually measured in pascals (newtons per square metre), millibars, torr, or atmospheres p, P
(transitive) to constrain or compel, as by the application of moral force
another word for pressurize
Derived Forms
pressureless, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin pressūra a pressing, from Latin premere to press
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pressuring



late 14c., "suffering, anguish; act or fact of pressing on the mind or heart," from Old French presseure "oppression; torture; anguish; press" (for wine or cheeses), "instrument of torture" (12c.) and directly from Latin pressura "action of pressing," from pressus, past participle of premere "to press" (see press (v.1)).

Literal meaning "act or fact of pressing" in a physical sense is attested from early 15c. Meaning "moral or mental coercing force" is from 1620s; meaning "urgency" is from 1812. Scientific sense in physics is from 1650s. Pressure cooker is attested from 1915; figurative sense is from 1958. Pressure point is attested from 1876. Pressure-treated, of woods, is from 1911.



"to pressurize," 1886, American English, from pressure (n.). Meaning "to exert pressure on" (someone) is attested by 1922. Related: Pressured; pressuring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pressuring in Medicine

pressure pres·sure (prěsh'ər)

  1. The act of pressing or condition of being pressed.

  2. A stress or force acting in any direction against resistance.

  3. Force applied uniformly over a surface, measured as force per unit of area.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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pressuring in Science
The force per unit area that one region of a gas, liquid, or solid exerts on another. Pressure is usually measured in Pascal units, atmospheres, or pounds per square inch. ◇ A substance is said to have negative pressure if some other substance exerts more force per unit area on it than vice versa. Its value is simply the negative of the pressure exerted by the other substance.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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pressuring in Culture

pressure definition

The force exerted on a given area. (See atmospheric pressure.)

Note: The most familiar measure of pressure is psi (pounds per square inch), used to rate pressure in automobile and bicycle tires.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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