Basketball. a tactic of harassing, close-guarding defense in which the team without the ball pressures the opponent man-to-man the entire length of the court in order to disrupt dribbling or passing and force a turnover:
Suddenly behind by eighteen points, they went to a full-court press.
Very great or maximum pressure: an inclination not to resume a full court press for the peace plan
[fr an aggressive pressing defense in basketball, using both halves of the court]
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D. Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers. Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with full court press
An all-out effort to exert pressure. For example, She'd learned over the years how to deliver a full-court press of guilt. The term alludes to a basketball tactic in which the defenders put pressure on the opposing team over the entire court, trying to disrupt their dribbling and passing.
[ Late 1900s