Definition of pressure noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpreʃə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpreʃər//
    Business deals, The Earth and the atmosphere
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    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 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
  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 country. see also atmospheric See related entries: The Earth and the atmosphere
  6. persuasion/force
  7. 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
  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? 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
  10. Word Origin late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin pressura, from press- ‘pressed’, from the verb premere.Extra examples He’s felt under pressure since his wife had the operation. His own desires conflict with external pressures to conform. Hospital staff are coming under pressure to work longer hours. It’s an ideal place in which to relax and escape the pressures of modern life. Large companies were criticized for using pressure tactics against small suppliers. Management is under pressure to set an example on pay restraint. My parents never put any pressure on me to get a job. Pressure sensors in the seats tell the system which ones aren’t occupied. Reducing the swelling will relieve the pressure on her spine. Retailers face added pressure to have the products available by Christmas. She started smoking because of peer pressure. The cruise was a welcome relief from the pressure of work. The economic pressures on small businesses are intense. The editor bowed to pressure from his staff, and the article was suppressed. The government bowed to popular pressure and repealed the law. There is a constant drive to exploit workers and intensify the pressure of work. There is intense pressure on her to resign. There’s a lot of pressure on the soldiers preparing for battle. They are looking for ways to ease the pressure of their stress-filled, competitive existence. This concession would not have happened but for the pressure that was brought to bear on the authorities. This has heightened pressure for economic sanctions against the regime. This puts upward pressure on prices. When more people move into an area, that creates pressures. an instrument for measuring blood pressure pressure for change in the country’s economy pressure from religious groups pressure on foreign diplomats the use of the Internet to put international pressure on authoritarian regimes A deal was made under intense political pressure. Check the tyre pressure regularly. Her family put great pressure on her not to marry him. Manufacturers are under pressure to put profit ahead of safety. My parents never put any pressure on me to work in the family business. She suffers from high blood pressure. Teenagers may find it difficult to resist peer pressure. The President is coming under pressure to call a referendum. The door swung open beneath the gentle pressure of Jill’s hand. The government eventually bowed to popular pressure. a pressure gauge air/​water pressureIdioms
    put pressure on somebody (to do something)
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    to force or to try to persuade somebody to do something Advertisements put pressure on girls to be thin.
    1. 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. 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. 3  made to feel anxious about something you have to do The team performs well under pressure.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: pressure