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press - definition and synonyms

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verb     press pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlepressing
past tensepressed
past participlepressed
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to push one thing against another
    press against:

    Her face was pressing against his chest.

    press something against something:

    Children were pressing their faces against the window.

    press yourself against something:

    They had to press themselves against the wall to let the horse pass.

    press something to something:

    Even with the phone pressed to his ear, he couldn’t hear what she was saying.

    press something into something:

    The minister pressed a bible into his hand.

    press down on something:

    He felt the enormous weight of the man pressing down on his back.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to push something such as a button or switch in order to make a piece of equipment start working

      To read your e-mail, press the return key.

      Could you press the button for the third floor, please?

  2. 2
    [intransitive] to move as a group by pushing together in a particular direction
    press forward:

    A wave of protesters pressed forward toward the building.

    press around:

    The crowd of fans began to press more closely around them.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to try in a determined way to make someone do something or tell you something
    press someone about/on something:

    She continued to press him on the reasons for his decision.

    press someone into (doing) something:

    They had all been pressed into helping with the preparations for the party.

    press someone to do something:

    Managers are being pressed to ensure safety standards are met.

    1. a.
      to try to make someone accept something such as an opinion or a claim
      press a point:

      She gave no answer, so I didn’t press the point.

      press a claim:

      The young Duke of Normandy continued to press his claim to the English throne.

      press a case:

      He was in Washington today to press the case for reforming tax laws.

  4. 4
    [transitive] to make clothes smooth using a hot iron
  5. 5
    [transitive] to squeeze fruit or vegetables in order to get juice or oil out of them
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