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pushy

[ poosh-ee ]
/ ˈpʊʃ i /
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See synonyms for: pushy / pushiness on Thesaurus.com

adjective, push·i·er, push·i·est.Informal.
obnoxiously forward or self-assertive.
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Origin of pushy

An Americanism dating back to 1935–40; push + -y1

OTHER WORDS FROM pushy

push·i·ly, adverbpush·i·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does pushy mean?

Pushy is used to describe a person who is considered too aggressive, forceful, or assertive.

People described as pushy are typically those who try to get others to do what they want or agree with them by demanding or just continuing to ask. In other words, a pushy person is someone who pushes other people to do things. A salesperson who follows you around and pressures you to buy can be called pushy. A friend who insists on getting their way can be called pushy.

Pushy is always used in a negative way. Calling someone pushy implies that their behavior annoys or offends you due to being overly aggressive.

The adverb form of pushy is pushily, as in The trainer very pushily insisted that I upgrade to the platinum gym membership. 

Much less commonly, pushy can be used in situations that involve literal pushing or shoving, as in If you stand in the front row at the concert, be careful—things tend to get a bit pushy. 

Example: My roommate is so pushy—she never even lets me decide where to order from when we get takeout.

Where does pushy come from?

The first records of the word pushy come from the late 1930s from the U.S. It’s based on the sense of the verb push that means “to press or urge someone to take some action or pursue a certain course.” The suffix y is used to form adjectives and means “characterized by or inclined to.”

A pushy person tries to push their opinions or ideas on other people or tries to push them into doing something they may not want to do (if the person really wanted to do it, they probably wouldn’t need to be pushed). Describing someone as pushy means that you think their pushing is excessive. In contrast, if their aggressiveness is seen as appropriate, they might be described with a more positive word, like assertive.

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What are some other forms related to pushy?

  • pushily (adverb)
  • pushiness (noun)

What are some synonyms for pushy?

What are some words that share a root or word element with pushy

What are some words that often get used in discussing pushy?

How is pushy used in real life?

Pushy is always used negatively. It is perhaps most commonly applied to overly aggressive salespeople.

Try using pushy!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of pushy?

A. aggressive
B. forceful
C. pushover
D. brash

How to use pushy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pushy

pushy
/ (ˈpʊʃɪ) /

adjective pushier or pushiest informal
offensively assertive or forceful
aggressively or ruthlessly ambitious

Derived forms of pushy

pushily, adverbpushiness, noun
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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