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[poo sh-er] /ˈpʊʃ ər/
a person or thing that pushes.
Slang. a peddler of illegal drugs.
Aeronautics. an airplane that is driven by pusher propellers.
Nautical. one of the masts abaft the mizzen on a sailing vessel having more than three masts, either the sixth or seventh from forward.
Compare driver (def 10b), spanker (def 1b).
Railroads. a helper attached to the rear of a train, usually to provide extra power for climbing a steep grade.
Origin of pusher
First recorded in 1585-95; push + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pusher
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His name should be "pusher," "Advance Man," or something of that sort, and not artist.

    Adventures in the Arts Marsden Hartley
  • The girl, who had paused when he did, leaned on the pusher of her go-cart, studying him calmly.

    The Dust Flower Basil King
  • At the rear the "pusher off" half reclined, graceful and nonchalant.

    The Adventures of Bobby Orde Stewart Edward White
  • As a rule, all that a "pusher" or distributor can tell is where he got the bad money.

    The Barrel Mystery

    William J. (William James) Flynn
  • Barry, the "pusher" (under foreman), waved his outstretched hand.

    The Walking Delegate Leroy Scott
  • He spent every cent he had to get one made and put on his pusher.

    Plain Mary Smith Henry Wallace Phillips
  • The other has the propeller in the rear, and that is the pusher type.

    Tom Swift and his Air Scout Victor Appleton
  • The point C is the centre of the propeller, or, in the case of a "pusher" aeroplane, the centre of the nacelle.

British Dictionary definitions for pusher


(informal) a person who sells illegal drugs, esp narcotics such as heroin and morphine
(informal) an actively or aggressively ambitious person
  1. a type of aircraft propeller placed behind the engine
  2. a type of aircraft using such a propeller
a person or thing that pushes
(Brit) a rakelike implement used by small children to push food onto a spoon
(Austral) the usual name for pushchair
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 pusher

1590s in a literal sense, agent noun from push (v.). Meaning "peddler of illegal drugs" (1935 in prison slang) is from the verb in the "promote" sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for pusher



  1. A narcotics peddler or distributor; candy man, connection: queen of the Broadway narcotics pushers (1935+ Narcotics)
  2. A distributor or passer of counterfeit money; paperhanger (1940s+ Underworld)

Related Terms

cookie-pusher, gospel-pusher, pencil-pusher, pen-pusher, pill-pusher, wood-pusher

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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