Meaning of PRESS in English

I. ˈpres noun

( -es )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English presse, prees, from Old French presse, from presser to press — more at press II


a. : a crowd of people or a crowded condition : multitude , throng

there was … a press of people trying to force their way past the powerful yeomen ushers — Leslie Hotson

perched on the folded-down top of a convertible, to roll down the boardwalk with a press of people following her car — Pete Martin

b. archaic : the crush or melee of cavalry or foot soldiers in battle

c. : a thronging or crowding forward or together

had difficulty keeping his feet in the press and surge of the mob

had been pushed out of their home territories by the press of white settlement — American Guide Series: Ind.


a. : an apparatus or machine by which a substance is cut or shaped (as by pressing, drawing, or stamping), by which an impression of a body is taken, by which a material is compressed or packed, by which pressure is applied to a body, by which liquid is expressed, or by which a cutting tool (as a drill) is fed into the work by applied pressure — compare cheese press , drill press , forming press , hydraulic press , punch press

b. : a building containing presses or a business using presses

c. : a medieval apparatus in which an accused person refusing to plead was crushed until he yielded or died

3. : closet , cupboard — compare clothespress


[ press (II) ]

: the act of pressing or pushing something : pressure

a press of a button

a press of the hand

finishes with a light press of the earth over the newly planted seed

could no longer stand against the steady press of the Roman lines — A.C.Whitehead


[ press (II) ]

: the properly smoothed and creased condition of a freshly pressed garment

a fabric that keeps its press

a good press on these trousers


a. : printing press

b. chiefly Britain : handpress — compare machine

c. : the act or the process of printing

to see a book through the press

d. : a printing or publishing establishment

a university press

also : its personnel


a. : the gathering and publishing or broadcasting of news : journalism

freedom of the press

b. : newspapers, periodicals, and often radio and television news broadcasting regarded as a group

the press has three functions: to inform, to influence, and to entertain — R.E.Wolseley

the American press

the Democratic press

the religious press

c. : news reporters, publishers, and broadcasters as a group

the press … is very apt to think in the local terms of the papers that they represent — F.D.Roosevelt

d. : comment or notice in newspapers and periodicals

the navy … is enjoying a good press — Atlantic


a. : any of various pressure devices (as the standing press) used to compress or hold books

b. : any of various devices used to keep sporting gear (as rackets and skis) from warping when not in use


[ press (II) ]

a. : a lift in weight lifting in which the weight is raised from the floor to shoulder height and then smoothly extended overhead — called also military press ; compare clean and jerk , snatch

b. : a fencer's applying of pressure against an opponent's blade in order to force an opening for an attack

c. : a method by which a gymnast raises the body into a hand balance by using the muscles only without the aid of a kick or throw

d. : a pressuring defense (as in basketball) employed over a part or all of the court to hinder movement of the ball and as an intensive effort to gain possession

10. : a pair of rolls between which the wet web of paper is passed to remove water and compact the sheet in papermaking

Synonyms: see crowd

- in press

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-es )

Etymology: Middle English pressen, from Middle French presser, from Old French, from Latin pressare, from pressus, past participle of premere to press; akin to Latin prelum press, wine press and perhaps to Russian peret' to press

transitive verb


a. : to bring pushing or thrusting force to bear on by means of something in direct contact : force , thrust : exert steady pressure on

found that if a telegraph key was pressed down hard a stronger current ran through the wires — Roger Burlingame

b. : to torture or put to death by the press


a. : to make a hostile assault on : assail , beset , harass

enemy forces pressed the town hard on all sides

single lions, past their prime … become now and then the quarry of a pack hard pressed by hunger — James Stevenson-Hamilton

b. : to reduce to misery or distress : afflict , oppress

the bondslaves of our day, whom dirt and danger press — Rudyard Kipling

c. : to weigh upon (as mind or body) so as to cause distress or pain : depress


a. : to squeeze out the juice or contents of : express

press grapes

b. : to squeeze with apparatus or instruments to a desired density, smoothness, or shape

c. : to compact (as paper or bound or unbound books) in a press


a. : to exert influence on : constrain , urge

my host pressed me to drink — Allen Upward

came from the dance for a few minutes to press his friend to join it — Jane Austen

b. : to importune urgently : try hard to persuade : beseech , entreat

5. : to move by means of pressure


a. : to inculcate strongly (as an attitude or opinion) : present (a claim) earnestly : emphasize , stress

presses upon us similar reflections — G.G.Coulton

b. : to insist on or request urgently (an act or procedure)

press a conciliatory approach on him

7. : to follow through (a course of action) : prosecute

the bridge trains were ordered to press the march at highest possible speed — P.W.Thompson

must press action wherever I can, show people that I mean business when I talk about a flight across the ocean — C.A.Lindbergh b. 1902

8. : to clasp in affection or courtesy : embrace

pressed the visitor's hand

pressed the well loved woman to him

9. : to make or reproduce (a phonograph record) from a matrix

intransitive verb

1. : to crowd closely against or around someone or something : mass

hundreds pressed about the performer after the show

2. : to force or push one's way (as through a crowd or against obstruction) : strain onward : advance energetically or eagerly

3. obsolete : to strive earnestly : attempt , undertake


a. : to seek urgently : argue , contend

was now pressing for eight dreadnoughts, rather than six — Virginia Cowles

b. : to exert effort : apply pressure : work

pressed aggressively for power development

5. : to require promptitude : call for action : create urgency

time presses

let me know if anything presses

6. : to impose a weight or burden : lie heavily

care pressed upon his mind

7. : to take or hold a press

a fabric that presses well

8. : to hit a golf ball with excessive impact that impairs smoothness and coordination of the stroke


bear , squeeze , crowd , jam : press indicates application of pressure; it may apply to weighing down, pushing, thrusting, stamping, driving, or to constraining, compelling, persecuting, promoting, or urging

pressed the crowd back

press out the grapes

he pressed the agitated girl into a seat — Thomas Hardy

determined to press the matter — Rose Macaulay

when pressed for details he always closed his eyes — L.C.Douglas

construction was therefore pressed at feverish speed — American Guide Series: Florida

the Conservatives, fearing for imperial security, pressed the Labor government hard — Collier's Year Book

bear in the sense here discussed may apply to the application of any pressure or force, often actually or figuratively downward or backward

the weight of the roof bears on these pillars

his debts bore heavily on him

his activity and zeal bore down all opposition — T.B.Macaulay

Clan Alpine's best are backward borne — Sir Walter Scott

squeeze applies to pressure on all sides to flatten or crush, to force in pressing into a small circumscribed space, to pressure, to extract, elicit, or compel

squeeze an orange

to make newly joined officers squeeze through the narrowest shelves of a dinner wagon — J.S.Bradford

to squeeze more education out of the G.I. bill — Louis Auchincloss

large scale immigration during the 19th century squeezed Negro artisans and laborers out of industry — American Guide Series: New Jersey

crowd may indicate forceful pushing, pressing, or packing together of people

never have more startling twists been crowded into the concluding scene of a melodrama — John Mason Brown

I hope not too many try to crowd in here at once. It isn't a very big room — John Steinbeck

at first volunteers crowded the recruiting stations, could not be used — Elsie Singmaster

jam suggests wedging in with great pressure or force, sometimes so that subsequent movement is impossible or difficult

jam the shirts into the suitcase

an upturned boat jammed by the current against the timbers — H.G.Wells

jammed in the schoolhouse and standing about fifty deep outside — American Guide Series: Maryland

- press one's luck

III. verb

( -ed/-ing/-es )

Etymology: alteration (influenced by press ) (II) of obsolete English prest to enlist (someone) as a soldier or sailor by giving some pay in advance, from English prest (II)

transitive verb

1. : to force (men) into service especially in the army or navy : impress

the cutter is often mentioned … with regard to revenue work and law enforcement, in seizing illegal goods, or in pressing men for naval service — H.I.Chapelle


a. : to take by authority (as for public or emergency use) : commandeer

pressed a passing car to give chase

b. : to enlist the help of

pressed a passerby into service to warn off traffic

intransitive verb

: to impress men as soldiers or sailors

IV. noun

( -es )

1. : impressment into service especially in a navy

2. obsolete : a warrant for impressing recruits

V. adjective

Etymology: Latin pressus, past participle of premere to press — more at press II

obsolete : concise , precise , exact

VI. ˈpres noun

( -es )

Etymology: origin unknown

: an East Indian tree shrew ( Tupaia ferruginea )

VII. abbreviation


VIII. verb

also press flesh

- press the flesh

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.