[ poosh ]
See synonyms for: pushpushedpushespushing on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
  1. to press upon or against (a thing) with force in order to move it away.

  2. to move (something) in a specified way by exerting force; shove; drive: to push something aside; to push the door open.

  1. to effect or accomplish by thrusting obstacles aside: to push one's way through the crowd.

  2. to cause to extend or project; thrust.

  3. to press or urge to some action or course: His mother pushed him to get a job.

  4. to press (an action, proposal, etc.) with energy and insistence: to push a bill through Congress.

  5. to carry (an action or thing) toward a conclusion or extreme: She pushed the project to completion.

  6. to press the adoption, use, sale, etc., of: to push inferior merchandise on customers.

  7. to press or bear hard upon, as in dealings with someone: The prosecutor pushed him for an answer.

  8. to put into difficulties because of the lack of something specified (usually followed by for): to be pushed for time.

  9. Slang. to peddle (illicit drugs).

  10. Informal. to be approaching a specific age, speed, or the like: The maestro is pushing ninety-two.

  11. Photography. to modify (film processing) to compensate for underexposure.

verb (used without object)
  1. to exert a thrusting force upon something.

  2. to use steady force in moving a thing away; shove.

  1. to make one's way with effort or persistence, as against difficulty or opposition.

  2. to extend or project; thrust: The point of land pushed far out into the sea.

  3. to put forth vigorous or persistent efforts.

  4. Slang. to sell illicit drugs.

  5. to move on being pushed: a swinging door that pushes easily.

  1. the act of pushing; a shove or thrust.

  2. a contrivance or part to be pushed in order to operate a mechanism.

  1. a vigorous onset or effort.

  2. a determined advance against opposition, obstacles, etc.

  3. a vigorous and determined military attack or campaign: The big push began in April.

  4. the pressure of circumstances, activities, etc.

  5. Informal. persevering energy; enterprise.

  6. Informal. a crowd or company of people.

  7. British. dismissal from a job; sack.

  8. Australian Slang. a gang of hoodlums.

Verb Phrases
  1. push around, to treat contemptuously and unfairly; bully: She's not the kind of person who can be pushed around.

  2. push back,

    • to make the date or time of (an event) later than originally planned.

    • to oppose or resist a plan, action, statement, etc.: The board members are starting to push back against criticism from the public.

  1. push off, Informal. to go away; depart: We stopped at Denver for the night and were ready to push off again the following morning.

  2. push on, to press forward; continue; proceed: The pioneers, despite overwhelming obstacles, pushed on across the plains.

Idioms about push

  1. push one's luck. luck (def. 12).

  2. when / if push comes to shove, when or if matters are ultimately confronted or resolved; when or if a problem must be faced; in a crucial situation: If push comes to shove, the government will impose quotas on imports.

Origin of push

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English pushen, poshen, posson (verb) <Middle French pousser, Old French po(u)lser, from Latin pulsāre. See pulsate

Other words for push

Other words from push

  • outpush, verb (used with object)
  • un·pushed, adjective

Words Nearby push

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use push in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for push


/ (pʊʃ) /

  1. (when tr, often foll by off, away, etc) to apply steady force to (something) in order to move it

  2. to thrust (one's way) through something, such as a crowd, by force

  1. (when intr, often foll by for) to apply oneself vigorously (to achieving a task, plan, etc)

  2. (tr) to encourage or urge (a person) to some action, decision, etc

  3. (when intr, often foll by for) to be an advocate or promoter (of): to push for acceptance of one's theories

  4. (tr) to use one's influence to help (a person): to push one's own candidate

  5. to bear upon (oneself or another person) in order to achieve more effort, better results, etc: she was a woman who liked to push her husband

    • (tr) to take undue risks, esp through overconfidence, thus risking failure: to push one's luck

    • (intr) to act overconfidently

  6. sport to hit (a ball) with a stiff pushing stroke

  7. (tr) informal to sell (narcotic drugs) illegally

  8. (intr; foll by out, into, etc) (esp of geographical features) to reach or extend: the cliffs pushed out to the sea

  9. (tr) to overdevelop (a photographic film), usually by the equivalent of up to two stops, to compensate for underexposure or increase contrast

  10. push up daisies or push up the daisies slang to be dead and buried

  1. the act of pushing; thrust

  2. a part or device that is pressed to operate some mechanism

  1. informal ambitious or enterprising drive, energy, etc

  2. informal a special effort or attempt to advance, as of an army in a war: to make a push

  3. informal a number of people gathered in one place, such as at a party

  4. Australian slang a group or gang, esp one considered to be a clique

  5. sport a stiff pushing stroke

  6. at a push informal with difficulty; only just

  7. the push informal, mainly British dismissal, esp from employment

  8. when push comes to shove informal when matters become critical; when a decision needs to be made

Origin of push

C13: from Old French pousser, from Latin pulsāre, from pellere to drive

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