American English

Definition of push verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they push
    he / she / it pushes
    past simple pushed
    -ing form pushing
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    using hands/arms/body
  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to use your hands, arms, or body in order to make someone or something move forward or away from you; to move part of your body into a particular position We pushed and pushed but the piano wouldn't move. Push hard when I tell you to. You push and I'll pull. push at something She pushed at the door but it wouldn't budge. push something He walked slowly up the hill pushing his bike. push somebody/something + adv./prep. She pushed the cup toward me. He pushed his chair back and stood up. He tried to kiss her but she pushed him away. She pushed her face toward him. push something + adj. I pushed the door open.
  2. 2[intransitive, transitive] to use force to move past someone or something using your hands, arms, etc. People were pushing and shoving to get to the front. + adv./prep. The fans pushed against the barrier. push your way + adv./prep. Try and push your way through the crowd.
  3. affect something
  4. 3[transitive] push something + adv./prep. to affect something so that it reaches a particular level or state This development could push the country into recession. The rise in interest rates will push prices up.
  5. switch/button
  6. 4[transitive] push something to press a switch, button, etc., for example in order to make a machine start working I pushed the button for the top floor.
  7. persuade
  8. 5[transitive] to persuade or encourage someone to do something that they may not want to do push somebody (into something/into doing something) My teacher pushed me into entering the competition. push somebody to do something No one pushed you to take the job, did they?
  9. work hard
  10. 6[transitive] push somebody/yourself to make someone work hard The music teacher really pushes her students. Lucy should push herself a little harder.
  11. put pressure on someone
  12. 7[transitive] push somebody (+ adv./prep.) (informal) to put pressure on someone and make them angry or upset Her parents are very tolerant, but sometimes she pushes them too far.
  13. new idea/product
  14. 8[transitive] push something (informal) to try hard to persuade people to accept or agree with a new idea, buy a new product, etc. The interview gave him a chance to push his latest movie. She didn't want to push the point any further at that moment.
  15. sell drugs
  16. 9[transitive] push something (informal) to sell illegal drugs
  17. of army
  18. 10[intransitive] + adv./prep. to move forward quickly through an area The army pushed (on) toward the capital.
  19. Idioms
    be pushing 40, 50, etc. (informal)
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    to be nearly 40, 50, etc. years old
    be pushing up (the) daisies (old-fashioned) (humorous)
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    to be dead and in a grave
    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.
    push all the (right) buttons (informal)
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    to do exactly the right things to please someone a new satirical comedy show that pushes all the right buttons
    push somebody's buttons (informal)
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    to make someone react in either a positive or a negative way I've known him for years, but I still don't know what pushes his buttons.
    push the envelope (informal)
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    to go beyond the limits of what is allowed or thought to be possible He is a performer who consistently pushes the envelope of TV comedy.
    push your luck, push it/things (informal)
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    to take a risk because you have successfully avoided problems in the past You didn't get caught last time, but don't push your luck!
    push something to the back of your mind
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    to try to forget about something unpleasant I tried to push the thought to the back of my mind.
    Phrasal Verbspush ahead/forward (with something)push somebody aroundpush somethingasidepush something backpush for somethingpush forwardpush offpush onpush somebodyoutpush somebody/somethingoutpush somethingoutpush somebody/something overpush somethingthroughpush yourself/somebody forward
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: push