n. & v.
1. a the exertion of continuous force on or against a body by another in contact with it. b the force exerted. c the amount of this (expressed by the force on a unit area) (atmospheric pressure).
2 urgency; the need to meet a deadline etc. (work under pressure).
3 affliction or difficulty (under financial pressure).
4 constraining influence (if pressure is brought to bear).
1. apply (esp. moral) pressure to.
2 a coerce. b (often foll. by into) persuade (was pressured into attending).
Phrases and idioms:
pressure-cook cook in a pressure-cooker. pressure-cooker an airtight pan for cooking quickly under steam pressure. pressure gauge a gauge showing the pressure of steam etc. pressure group a group or association formed to promote a particular interest or cause by influencing public policy. pressure point
1. a point where an artery can be pressed against a bone to inhibit bleeding.
2 a point on the skin sensitive to pressure.
3 a target for political pressure or influence. pressure suit an inflatable suit for flying at a high altitude.
Etymology: ME f. L pressura (as PRESS(1))