American English

Definition of pressure noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    jump to other results
    when something presses
  1. 1[uncountable] the force or weight with which something presses against something else The nurse applied pressure to his arm to stop the bleeding. The barriers gave way under the pressure of the crowd.
  2. of gas/liquid
  3. 2[uncountable, countable] the force produced by a particular amount of gas or liquid in a confined space or container; the amount of this air/water pressure Check the tire pressure (= the amount of air in a tire) regularly. a pressure gauge (= an instrument used for measuring the pressure of a liquid or a gas) see also blood pressure
  4. of atmosphere
  5. 3[uncountable] the force of the atmosphere on the earth's surface A band of high/low pressure is moving across the Great Lakes region. see also atmospheric
  6. persuasion/force
  7. 4[uncountable] the act of trying to persuade or force someone to do something pressure (for something) The pressure for change continued to mount. pressure (on somebody) (to do something) There is a great deal of pressure on young people to conform. The government eventually bowed to popular pressure (= they agreed to do what people were trying to get them to do). see also peer pressure
  8. stress
  9. 5[uncountable] (also pressures [plural]) difficulties and feelings of anxiety that are caused by the need to achieve or to behave in a particular way She was unable to attend because of the pressure of work. You need to be able to handle pressure in this job. How can anyone enjoy the pressures of city life?
  10. Thesauruspressurestress tension strainThese are all words for the feelings of anxiety caused by the problems in someone's life.pressure difficulties and feelings of anxiety that are caused by the need to achieve something or to behave in a particular way:She was losing sleep over the pressure of her work.stress pressure or anxiety caused by the problems in someone's life:stress-related illnesspressure or stress?It is common to say that someone is suffering from stress, while pressure may be the thing that causes stress.tension a feeling of anxiety and stress that makes it impossible to relax:nervous tensionstrain pressure on someone because they have too much to do or manage; the problems, worry, or anxiety that this produces:I found it a strain staying home with four children.Patterns to be under pressure/stress/strain considerable pressure/stress/tension/strain to cause stress/tension/strain to cope with the pressure/stress/tension/strain to relieve/release the pressure/stress/tension to be suffering from stress/tensionIdioms
    put pressure on somebody (to do something)
    jump to other results
    to force or to try to persuade someone to do something Advertisements put pressure on girls to be thin.
      under pressure
      jump to other results
    1. 1if a liquid or a gas is kept under pressure, it is forced into a container so that when the container is opened, the liquid or gas escapes quickly draft beer is pumped out of the barrel under pressure.
    2. 2being forced to do something The director is under increasing pressure to resign. The dollar came under pressure from foreign currencies today, increasing the chances of a rise in interest rates.
    3. 3made to feel anxious about something you have to do The team performs well under pressure.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: pressure