1 [pres]
verb (used with object)
to act upon with steadily applied weight or force.
to move by weight or force in a certain direction or into a certain position: The crowd pressed him into a corner.
to compress or squeeze, as to alter in shape or size: He pressed the clay into a ball.
to weigh heavily upon; subject to pressure.
to hold closely, as in an embrace; clasp: He pressed her in his arms.
to flatten or make smooth, especially by ironing: to press clothes; to press flowers in the leaves of a book.
to extract juice, sugar, etc., from by pressure: to press grapes.
to squeeze out or express, as juice: to press the juice from grapes.
to beset or harass; afflict: He was pressed by problems on all sides.
to trouble or oppress; put into a difficult position, as by depriving: Poverty pressed them hard.
to urge or entreat strongly or insistently: to press for payment of a debt; to press for an answer.
to emphasize or propound forcefully; insist upon: He pressed his own ideas on us.
to plead with insistence: to press a claim.
to urge onward; hasten: He pressed his horse to go faster.
to push forward.
verb (used without object)
to manufacture (phonograph records, videodiscs, or the like), especially by stamping from a mold or matrix.
to exert weight, force, or pressure.
Weightlifting. to raise or lift, especially a specified amount of weight, in a press.
to iron clothing, curtains, etc.
to bear heavily, as upon the mind.
(of athletes and competitors) to perform tensely or overanxiously, as when one feels pressured or is determined to break out of a slump; strain because of frustration: For days he hasn't seemed able to buy a hit, and he's been pressing.
to compel haste: Time presses.
to demand immediate attention.
to use urgent entreaty: to press for an answer.
to push forward or advance with force, eagerness, or haste: The army pressed to reach the river by dawn.
to crowd or throng.
Basketball. to employ a press.
an act of pressing; pressure.
the state of being pressed.
printed publications collectively, especially newspapers and periodicals.
all the media and agencies that print, broadcast, or gather and transmit news, including newspapers, newsmagazines, radio and television news bureaus, and wire services.
the editorial employees, taken collectively, of these media and agencies.
(often used with a plural verb) a group of news reporters, or of news reporters and news photographers: The press are in the outer office, waiting for a statement.
the consensus of the general critical commentary or the amount of coverage accorded a person, thing, or event, especially in newspapers and periodicals (often preceded by good or bad ): The play received a good press. The minister's visit got a bad press.
an establishment for printing books, magazines, etc.
the process or art of printing.
any of various devices or machines for exerting pressure, stamping, or crushing.
a wooden or metal viselike device for preventing a tennis or other racket from warping when not in use.
a pressing or pushing forward.
a crowding, thronging, or pressing together; collective force: The press of the crowd drove them on.
a crowd, throng, or multitude.
the desired smooth or creased effect caused by ironing or pressing: His suit was out of press.
pressure or urgency, as of affairs or business.
an upright case or other piece of furniture for holding clothes, books, pamphlets, etc.
Basketball. an aggressive form of defense in which players guard opponents very closely.
Weightlifting. a lift in which the barbell, after having been lifted from the ground up to chest level, is pushed to a position overhead with the arms extended straight up, without moving the legs or feet.
go to press, to begin being printed: The last edition has gone to press.
press the flesh, Informal. flesh ( def 24 ).

1175–1225; (noun) Middle English press(e) throng, company, trouble, machine for pressing, clothespress < Old French, derivative of presser to press < Latin pressāre, frequentative of premere (past participle pressus) to press (compare rare Old English press clothespress < Medieval Latin pressa, noun use of feminine of pressus); (v.) Middle English pressen (< Old French presser) < Latin pressāre, as above

pressable, adjective

9. annoy, worry, torment, assail, besiege. 11. induce, persuade, beg, implore. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
press1 (prɛs)
vb (when intr, often foll by on or forward)
1.  to apply or exert weight, force, or steady pressure on: he pressed the button on the camera
2.  (tr) to squeeze or compress so as to alter in shape or form
3.  to apply heat or pressure to (clothing) so as to smooth out or mark with creases; iron
4.  to make (objects) from soft material by pressing with a mould, form, etc, esp to make gramophone records from plastic
5.  (tr) to hold tightly or clasp, as in an embrace
6.  (tr) to extract or force out (juice) by pressure (from)
7.  (tr) weightlifting to lift (a weight) successfully with a press: he managed to press 280 pounds
8.  (tr) to force, constrain, or compel
9.  to importune or entreat (a person) insistently; urge: they pressed for an answer
10.  to harass or cause harassment
11.  (tr) to plead or put forward strongly or importunately: to press a claim
12.  (intr) to be urgent
13.  (tr; usually passive) to have little of: we're hard pressed for time
14.  to hasten or advance or cause to hasten or advance in a forceful manner
15.  (intr) to crowd; throng; push
16.  (tr) (formerly) to put to death or subject to torture by placing heavy weights upon
17.  archaic (tr) to trouble or oppress
18.  press charges to bring charges against a person
19.  any machine that exerts pressure to form, shape, or cut materials or to extract liquids, compress solids, or hold components together while an adhesive joint is formed
20.  See printing press
21.  the art or process of printing
22.  at the press, in the press being printed
23.  to press, to the press to be printed: when is this book going to press?
24.  the press
 a.  news media and agencies collectively, esp newspapers
 b.  (as modifier): a press matter; press relations
25.  the press those who work in the news media, esp newspaper reporters and photographers
26.  the opinions and reviews in the newspapers, etc: the play received a poor press
27.  the act of pressing or state of being pressed
28.  the act of crowding, thronging, or pushing together
29.  a closely packed throng of people; crowd; multitude
30.  urgency or hurry in business affairs
31.  a cupboard, esp a large one used for storing clothes or linen
32.  a wood or metal clamp or vice to prevent tennis rackets, etc, from warping when not in use
33.  weightlifting a lift in which the weight is raised to shoulder level and then above the head
[C14 pressen, from Old French presser, from Latin pressāre, from premere to press]

press2 (prɛs)
1.  to recruit (men) by forcible measures for military service
2.  to use for a purpose other than intended, (esp in the phrase press into service)
3.  recruitment into military service by forcible measures, as by a press gang
[C16: back formation from prest to recruit soldiers; see prest²; also influenced by press1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"crowd, multitude," early 13c., from O.Fr. presse (11c.), from L. pressare (see press (v.1)). Sense of "to urge, compel, force" (now mostly in adj. pressing, 1705) is recorded from late 14c. Basketball defense so called from 1961. Meaning "machine for squeezing" (e.g. winepress)
is recorded from mid-14c., from M.Fr. presse. Specific sense "machine for printing" is from 1530s; extended to publishing houses by 1570s and to publishing generally (in phrases like freedom of the press) c.1680. This gradually shifted c.1800-1820 to "periodical publishing, journalism." Meaning "journalists collectively" is attested from 1926. Press agent is from 1883; press conference is attested from 1937, though the thing itself dates to at least World War I. Press secretary is recorded from 1959.

"push against," c.1300, from O.Fr. preser (13c.), from L. pressare "to press," frequentative of pressus, p.p. of premere "to press, hold fast, cover, crowd, compress," from PIE *prem-/*pres- "to strike." Weight-lifting sense is attested from 1908.

"force into service," 1578, alteration (by association with press (v.1)) of prest (c.1360) "engage by loan, pay in advance," especially money paid to a soldier or sailor on enlisting, from L. præstare "to provide," from præ- "before" + stare "to stand," from PIE
base *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Related to præsto (adv.) "ready, available."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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