- 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. of gas/liquid
- 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 tyre pressure (= the amount of air in a tyre) regularly. a pressure gauge (= an instrument used for measuring the pressure of a liquid or a gas) see also blood pressure of atmosphere
- 3 [uncountable] the force of the atmosphere on the earth’s surface A band of high/low pressure is moving across the country. see also atmospheric See related entries: The Earth and the atmosphere persuasion/force
- 4 [uncountable] the act of trying to persuade or to force somebody 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). Teenagers may find it difficult to resist peer pressure. See related entries: Business deals stress
- 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? Synonymspressurestress tension strainThese are all words for the feelings of anxiety caused by the problems in somebody’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 unable to attend because of the pressures of work.stress pressure or anxiety caused by the problems in somebody’s life:stress-related illnessespressure or stress?It is common to say that somebody 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 somebody/something because they have too much to do or manage; the problems, worry or anxiety that this produces:I found it a strain looking after 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/strain to be suffering from stress/tension Word Origin late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin pressura, from press-
- 1 if 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 Draught beer is pumped out of the barrel under pressure.
- 2 being forced to do something The director is under increasing pressure to resign. The pound came under pressure from foreign currencies today, increasing the chances of a rise in interest rates.
- 3 made to feel anxious about something you have to do The team performs well under pressure.
when something presses