v. & n.
v. 1 tr. exert a force on (a thing) to move it away from oneself or from the origin of the force. 2 tr. cause to move in this direction. 3 intr. exert such a force (do not push against the door). 4 intr. & tr. a thrust forward or upward. b project or cause to project (pushes out new roots; the cape pushes out into the sea). 5 intr. move forward by force or persistence. 6 tr. make (one's way) by pushing. 7 intr. exert oneself, esp. to surpass others. 8 tr. (often foll. by to, into, or to + infin.) urge or impel. 9 tr. tax the abilities or tolerance of; press (a person) hard. 10 tr. pursue (a claim etc.). 11 tr. promote the use or sale or adoption of, e.g. by advertising. 12 intr. (foll. by for) demand persistently (pushed hard for reform). 13 tr. colloq. sell (a drug) illegally.
n. 1 the act or an instance of pushing; a shove or thrust. 2 the force exerted in this. 3 a vigorous effort. 4 a military attack in force. 5 enterprise, determination to succeed. 6 the use of influence to advance a person. 7 the pressure of affairs. 8 a crisis. be pushed for colloq. have very little of (esp. time). get the push colloq. be dismissed or sent away. give a person the push colloq. dismiss or send away a person. push along (often in imper.) colloq. depart, leave. push around colloq. bully. push-bike Brit. colloq. a bicycle worked by pedals. push-button 1 a button to be pushed esp. to operate an electrical device. 2 (attrib.) operated in this way. push one's luck 1 take undue risks. 2 act presumptuously. push off 1 push with an oar etc. to get a boat out into a river etc. 2 (often in imper.) colloq. go away. push-pull 1 operated by pushing and pulling. 2 Electr. consisting of two valves etc. operated alternately. push-start n. the starting of a motor vehicle by pushing it to turn the engine.
v.tr. start (a vehicle) in this way. push through get (a scheme, proposal, etc.) completed or accepted quickly. push-up = press-up.
[ ME f. OF pousser, pou(l)ser f. L pulsare (as PULSATE) ]