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push - definition and synonyms

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verb     push pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlepushing
past tensepushed
past participlepushed
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to move someone or something away from you, or from their previous position, using part of your body, especially your hands

    Push as hard as you can.

    push someone/something away:

    She gently pushed him away.

    push something around:

    He was pushing a trolley around the supermarket.

    push at:

    He pushed at a door in the courtyard.

    push someone/something into someone/something:

    Rebecca pushed her handkerchief into her pocket.

    push someone/something against someone/something:

    The table had been pushed against the wall.

    push something open/shut:

    I pushed open the door with my foot.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to press a button on a machine

    To turn on the television, you push this switch.

  3. 3
    [intransitive/transitive] to move past or through a group of people or things by using a part of your body to move them away from you

    Pushing to the front of the queue, he managed to get the last tickets.

    push past:

    He just pushed past Fred and left.

    push your way through:

    I was pushing my way through the crowd.

    push and shove:

    People were pushing and shoving, trying to get to the best seats first.

  4. 6
    [transitive] to make something reach a particular level or standard
    push something up/down/into/towards:

    The Bank of England had pushed up interest rates sharply to protect the pound from speculators.

  5. 7
    [transitive] to encourage or force someone in a determined way to do something they do not want to do
    push someone to do something:

    The United States pushed NATO to authorize military intervention.

    push someone into (doing) something:

    The police pushed her into giving evidence.

    1. a.
      to force someone to make a great effort, especially at school or in their career

      A lot of parents push their children, but my dad only ever encourages and supports me.

  6. 8
    [transitive] to make someone impatient or annoyed by behaving in an unreasonable way

    If you push him too far, he’ll resign.

  7. 9
    [intransitive] if an army pushes into, through, or across a country or area, it moves further into, through, or across it, using force
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