American English

Definition of press verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they press
    he / she / it presses
    past simple pressed
    -ing form pressing
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] to push something closely and firmly against something; to be pushed in this way press something/somebody/yourself against something She pressed her face against the window. press something to something He pressed a handkerchief to his nose. press something together She pressed her lips together. press against something His body was pressing against hers.
  2. 2[transitive, intransitive] to push or squeeze part of a device, etc. in order to make it work press something to press a button/switch/key press something + adj. He pressed the lid firmly shut. (+ adv./prep.) Press here to open. She pressed down hard on the gas pedal.
  3. 3[transitive] press something into/onto something to put something in a place by pushing it firmly He pressed a coin into her hand and moved on.
  4. 4[transitive] press something to squeeze someone's hand or arm, especially as a sign of affection
  5. 5[intransitive] + adv./prep. (of people in a crowd) to move in the direction mentioned by pushing The photographers pressed around the celebrities. (figurative) A host of unwelcome thoughts were pressing in on him.
  6. try to persuade
  7. 6[transitive] to make strong efforts to persuade or force someone to do something synonym push, urge press somebody If pressed, he will admit that he knew about the affair. press somebody for something The bank is pressing us for repayment of the loan. press somebody to do something They are pressing us to make a quick decision. press somebody into something/into doing something Don't let yourself be pressed into doing something you don't like.
  8. point/claim/case
  9. 7[transitive] press something to express or repeat something with force I hate to press the point, but you do owe me $200. She is still pressing her claim for compensation. They were determined to press their case at the highest level.
  10. make flat/smooth
  11. 8[transitive] to make something flat or smooth by using force or putting something heavy on top press something pressed flowers (= pressed between the pages of a book) press something + adj. Press the soil flat with the back of a spade.
  12. 9[transitive] press something to make clothes smooth using a hot iron synonym iron My suit needs pressing.
  13. fruit/vegetables
  14. 10[transitive] press something to squeeze the juice out of fruit or vegetables by using force or weight
  15. metal
  16. 11[transitive] to make something from a material, using pressure press something to press a CD press something from/out of something The car bodies are pressed out of sheets of metal.
  17. Idioms
    bring/press charges against somebody (law)
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     to accuse someone formally of a crime so that there can be a trial in court
    hit/press/push the panic button
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    to react in a sudden or extreme way to something unexpected that has frightened you The government pressed the panic button yesterday as the economy plunged deeper into crisis.
    press (the) flesh (informal)
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    (of a famous person or politician) to say hello to people by shaking hands
    press something home
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    to get as much advantage as possible from a situation by attacking or arguing in a determined way to press home an attack/an argument/a point Simone saw her opponent was hesitating and pressed home her advantage.
    press somebody/something into service
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    to use someone or something for a purpose that they were not trained or intended for because there is nobody or nothing else available Every type of boat was pressed into service to rescue passengers from the sinking ferry.
    Phrasal Verbspress ahead/on (with something)press for somethingpress something on somebody
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: press