Definition of push verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//pʊʃ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//pʊʃ//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they push
    BrE BrE//pʊʃ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//pʊʃ//
    he / she / it pushes
    BrE BrE//ˈpʊʃɪz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpʊʃɪz//
    past simple pushed
    BrE BrE//pʊʃt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//pʊʃt//
    past participle pushed
    BrE BrE//pʊʃt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//pʊʃt//
    -ing form pushing
    BrE BrE//ˈpʊʃɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpʊʃɪŋ//
    Committing crime, Anger
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    using hands/arms/body
  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] to use your hands, arms or body in order to make somebody/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 towards me. He pushed his chair back and stood up. He tried to kiss her but she pushed him away. She pushed her face towards him. push something + adj. I pushed the door open.
  2. 2  [intransitive, transitive] to use force to move past somebody/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 somebody 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 somebody work hard The music teacher really pushes her pupils. Lucy should push herself a little harder.
  11. put pressure on somebody
  12. 7[transitive] push somebody (+ adv./prep.) (informal) to put pressure on somebody and make them angry or upset Her parents are very tolerant, but sometimes she pushes them too far. See related entries: Anger
  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 See related entries: Committing crime
  17. of army
  18. 10[intransitive] + adv./prep. to move forward quickly through an area The army pushed (on) towards the capital.
  19. Word OriginMiddle English (as a verb): from Old French pousser, from Latin pulsare ‘to push, beat, pulse’ (see the verb pulse). The early sense was ‘exert force on’, giving rise later to ‘make a strenuous effort, endeavour’.Extra examples A man pushed his way to the front of the crowd. Don’t allow yourself to be pushed around by that bully. He felt he was being pushed to the limit of his self-control. He managed to push the window open a few inches. He pushed her roughly out of the door. He was deliberately pushed into the path of the vehicle. Her parents pushed her into accepting the job. I began to push my way through the crowd. Jack flung himself at Steve, but he simply pushed him away. She found a note pushed under the door. She leaned on the box and pushed it aside. She leaned on the door and pushed the bolt home. She pushed blindly past him and made for the door. The surplus has helped push world prices to as little as 55 euros per tonne. The two governments are pushing for economic reform in the region. The woman had been pushed violently to the ground. They pushed the two desks together. They’re pushing hard for a ban on GM foods. You’ll have to push harder if you want it to move. pushing through the crowd A woman pushed her way through the crowd. Ellie stood up, pushing her plate away. He made it clear that he would resist any attempt to push him into early retirement. He pushed past the other people waiting. He pushed the door open with his foot. He walked slowly up the hill, pushing his bike. I had to push several bystanders aside to get to her. I pushed the key into the lock. Marty tried to kiss her but she pushed him away. Please don’t push in front of other customers. Push the red button to open the doors. Sales promotion is designed to push certain products. She claimed she had been pushed into posing for the photographs. She didn’t want to push the point any further at that moment. Stop pushing me! The doctor pushed a needle into my arm. The old man pushed his face towards me. There’s no need to push! They were pressing/​pushing the minister for a decision. We pushed and pushed, but the door wouldn’t move. You push and I’ll pull.Idioms
    be pushing 40, 50, etc.
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    (informal) to be nearly 40, 50, etc. years old
    be pushing up (the) daisies
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    (old-fashioned, humorous) to be dead and in a grave
    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 prime minister pressed the panic button yesterday as Britain’s economy plunged deeper into crisis.
    push all the (right) buttons (also press all the (right) buttons especially in British English)
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    (informal) to do exactly the right things to please somebody a new satirical comedy show that pushes all the right buttons
    (British English, informal) to spend a lot of money on enjoying yourself or celebrating something synonym splash out (informal) 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
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    (informal) 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 somebody aboutpush somethingasidepush back (on something)push something backpush for somethingpush forwardpush forwardpush somebody forwardpush inpush offpush onpush somebodyoutpush out somebodypush somethingoutpush somebody overpush somethingthrough
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: push