definition of presses by The Free Dictionary

press 1


v. pressed, press·ing, press·es


a. To exert steady weight or force against: an indentation where the rock pressed the ground.

b. To move by applying pressure: press a piano key; press one’s face into a pillow.

c. To squeeze or clasp in fondness or concern: pressed her hand before leaving.


a. To squeeze the juice or other contents from: press lemons.

b. To extract (juice, for example) by squeezing or compressing.


a. To reshape or make compact by applying steady force; compress: pressed the clay in a mold.

b. To iron (clothing, for example).

c. To make (a sound recording), originally by pressing (a vinyl phonograph record) under pressure in a mold.


a. To bear down on or attack: The army pressed the rebels for months.

b. To carry on or advance vigorously (an attack, for instance).

c. To place in trying or distressing circumstances: Are you pressed for money?


a. To insist upon or put forward insistently: press a claim; press an argument.

b. To try to influence or persuade, as by insistent arguments; pressure or entreat: He pressed her for a reply.

c. To insist that someone accept (something). Often used with on or upon: was given to pressing peculiar gifts upon his nieces.

6. Sports To lift (a weight) to a position above the head without moving the legs.


1. To exert force or pressure: felt the backpack pressing on her shoulders.

2. To be worrisome or depressing; weigh heavily: Guilt pressed upon his conscience.


a. To advance eagerly; move forward urgently: We pressed through the crowd to get to the bus.

b. To assemble closely and in large numbers; crowd: Fans pressed around the movie star.

4. To continue a course of action, especially in spite of difficulties: decided to press ahead with the performance even with a sore throat.

5. To require haste or urgent action: matters that have not stopped pressing.

6. To employ urgent persuasion or entreaty: The supervisor has been pressing to get us to finish the project sooner.

7. To iron clothes or other material.

8. Sports To raise or lift a weight in a press.

9. Basketball To employ a press.

10. Sports In golf, to try to hit long or risky shots, typically with unsuccessful results.


1. Any of various machines or devices that apply pressure: a cider press.

2. A printing press.


a. A place or establishment where matter is printed: sent the book’s files to the press.

b. A publishing company: Which press has acquired that manuscript?


a. The communications media considered as a whole, especially the agencies that collect, publish, transmit, or broadcast news and other information to the public: freedom of the press; got a job writing for the press.

b. News or other information disseminated to the public in printed, broadcast, or electronic form: kept the scandal out of the press.

c. The people involved in the media, as news reporters and broadcasters: took questions from the press after her speech.

d. The kind or extent of coverage a person or event receives in the media: “Like the pool hall and the tattoo parlor, the motorcycle usually gets a bad press” (R.Z. Sheppard).


a. A large gathering; a crowd: lost our friend in the press of people.

b. The act of gathering in large numbers or of pushing forward: The press of the crowd broke the gates.

6. An act of pressing down or applying pressure: with the press of a button.

7. The haste or urgency of business or matters: the press of the day’s events.

8. The set of proper creases in a garment or fabric, formed by ironing.

9. Chiefly Scots and Irish An upright closet or case used for storing clothing, books, or other articles.

10. Sports A lift in weightlifting in which the weight is raised to shoulder level and then steadily pushed straight overhead without movement of the legs.

11. Basketball An aggressive defense tactic in which players guard opponents closely, often over the entire court.


go to press

To be submitted for printing.

in press

Submitted for printing; in the process of being printed.

press charges

To bring a formal accusation of criminal wrongdoing against someone.

pressed for time

In a hurry; under time pressure.

press the flesh Informal

To shake hands and mingle with many people, especially while campaigning for public office.

[Middle English pressen, from Old French presser, from Latin pressāre, frequentative of premere, to press; see per- in Indo-European roots.]

press 2


tr.v. pressed, press·ing, press·es

1. To force into service in the army or navy; impress.


a. To take arbitrarily or by force, especially for public use.

b. To use in a manner different from the usual or intended, especially in an emergency.


1. Conscription or impressment into service, especially into the army or navy.

2. Obsolete An official warrant for impressing men into military service.

[Alteration of obsolete prest, to hire for military service by advance payment, from Middle English, enlistment money, loan, from Old French, from prester, to lend, from Medieval Latin praestāre, from Latin, to furnish, from praestō, present, at hand; see ghes- in Indo-European roots.]

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




1. to apply or exert weight, force, or steady pressure on: he pressed the button on the camera.

2. (tr) to squeeze or compress so as to alter in shape or form

3. (Clothing & Fashion) to apply heat or pressure to (clothing) so as to smooth out or mark with creases; iron

4. (Mechanical Engineering) to make (objects) from soft material by pressing with a mould, form, etc, esp to make gramophone records from plastic

5. (tr) to hold tightly or clasp, as in an embrace

6. (tr) to extract or force out (juice) by pressure (from)

7. (Weightlifting) (tr) weightlifting to lift (a weight) successfully with a press: he managed to press 280 pounds.

8. (tr) to force, constrain, or compel

9. to importune or entreat (a person) insistently; urge: they pressed for an answer.

10. to harass or cause harassment

11. (tr) to plead or put forward strongly or importunately: to press a claim.

12. (intr) to be urgent

13. (tr; usually passive) to have little of: we’re hard pressed for time.

14. (when: intr, often foll by on or forward) to hasten or advance or cause to hasten or advance in a forceful manner

15. (intr) to crowd; throng; push

16. (Historical Terms) (tr) (formerly) to put to death or subject to torture by placing heavy weights upon

17. (tr) archaic to trouble or oppress

18. (Law) press charges to bring charges against a person


19. (Mechanical Engineering) any machine that exerts pressure to form, shape, or cut materials or to extract liquids, compress solids, or hold components together while an adhesive joint is formed

21. (Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding) the art or process of printing

22. (Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding) at the press in the press being printed

23. (Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding) to press to the press to be printed: when is this book going to press?.

24. (Journalism & Publishing) the press

a. news media and agencies collectively, esp newspapers

b. (as modifier): a press matter; press relations.

25. (Journalism & Publishing) the press those who work in the news media, esp newspaper reporters and photographers

26. (Journalism & Publishing) the opinions and reviews in the newspapers, etc: the play received a poor press.

27. the act of pressing or state of being pressed

28. the act of crowding, thronging, or pushing together

29. a closely packed throng of people; crowd; multitude

30. urgency or hurry in business affairs

31. (Furniture) a cupboard, esp a large one used for storing clothes or linen

32. (General Sporting Terms) a wood or metal clamp or vice to prevent tennis rackets, etc, from warping when not in use

33. (Weightlifting) weightlifting a lift in which the weight is raised to shoulder level and then above the head

[C14 pressen, from Old French presser, from Latin pressāre, from premere to press]



vb (tr)

1. (Historical Terms) to recruit (men) by forcible measures for military service

2. to use for a purpose other than intended, (esp in the phrase press into service)


(Historical Terms) recruitment into military service by forcible measures, as by a press gang

[C16: back formation from prest to recruit soldiers; see prest2; also influenced by press1]

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014




1. to act upon with steadily applied weight or force.

2. to move by weight or force in a certain direction or into a certain position.

3. to compress or squeeze, as to alter in shape or size.

4. to subject to pressure.

5. to hold closely, as in an embrace; clasp.

6. to flatten or make smooth, esp. by ironing.

7. to extract juice or contents from by pressure.

8. to squeeze out (juice).

9. to beset; harass.

10. to trouble or oppress, as by lack of something.

11. to urge or entreat insistently: to press someone for an explanation.

12. to emphasize or propound forcefully: He pressed his own ideas on us.

13. to urge onward; hasten.

14. to push forward.

15. to manufacture (phonograph records or the like) by stamping from a mold.


16. to exert weight, force, or pressure.

17. to raise or lift, esp. a specified amount of weight, in a press.

18. to iron clothing, curtains, etc.

19. to bear heavily, as upon the mind.

20. (of athletes and competitors) to strain because of frustration.

21. to compel haste or attention.

22. to use urgent entreaty: to press for an answer.

23. to push forward or advance with force or haste: The army pressed on.

24. to crowd; throng.

25. Basketball. to employ a press.


26. an act of pressing.

27. the state of being pressed.

29. printed publications collectively, esp. newspapers and periodicals.


a. all the media and agencies that print, broadcast, or gather and transmit news.

b. their editorial employees.

31. (often used with a pl. v.) a group from the news media, as reporters and photographers.

32. the consensus of critical commentary or amount of coverage in the news: The play received a good press.

33. an establishment for printing books, magazines, etc.

34. the process or art of printing.

35. any of various devices or machines for exerting pressure, stamping, or crushing.

36. a crowding, thronging, or pressing together: the press of the crowd.

37. a crowd; throng.

38. the desired smooth or creased effect caused by ironing or pressing.

39. urgency, as of affairs or business.

40. a large upright case or cupboard for holding clothes, linens, books, etc.

41. Basketball. an aggressive form of defense in which players guard opponents very closely.

42. a lift in which a barbell is pushed overhead from chest level with the arms extended straight up, without moving the legs or feet.

[1175–1225; Middle English < Old French presser < Latin pressāre, frequentative of premere (past participle pressus) to press]




1. to force into service, esp. naval or military service; impress.

2. to make use of in a manner different from that intended or desired: A bus was pressed into service as an ambulance.


3. impressment into service, esp. naval or military service.

[1535–45; back formation from prest, past participle of obsolete prest to take (men) for military service, v. use of prest money advanced to enlistees]

Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

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