from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To force into service in the army or navy; impress.
  • transitive verb To take arbitrarily or by force, especially for public use.
  • transitive verb To use in a manner different from the usual or intended, especially in an emergency.
  • noun Conscription or impressment into service, especially into the army or navy.
  • noun Obsolete An official warrant for impressing men into military service.
  • intransitive verb To exert steady weight or force against.
  • intransitive verb To move by applying pressure.
  • intransitive verb To squeeze or clasp in fondness or concern.
  • intransitive verb To squeeze the juice or other contents from.
  • intransitive verb To extract (juice, for example) by squeezing or compressing.
  • intransitive verb To reshape or make compact by applying steady force; compress.
  • intransitive verb To iron (clothing, for example).
  • intransitive verb To make (a sound recording), originally by pressing (a vinyl phonograph record) under pressure in a mold.
  • intransitive verb To bear down on or attack.
  • intransitive verb To carry on or advance vigorously (an attack, for instance).
  • intransitive verb To place in trying or distressing circumstances.
  • intransitive verb To insist upon or put forward insistently.
  • intransitive verb To try to influence or persuade, as by insistent arguments; pressure or entreat.
  • intransitive verb To insist that someone accept (something). Often used with on or upon.
  • intransitive verb Sports To lift (a weight) to a position above the head without moving the legs.
  • intransitive verb To exert force or pressure.
  • intransitive verb To be worrisome or depressing; weigh heavily.
  • intransitive verb To advance eagerly; move forward urgently.
  • intransitive verb To assemble closely and in large numbers; crowd.
  • intransitive verb To continue a course of action, especially in spite of difficulties.
  • intransitive verb To require haste or urgent action.
  • intransitive verb To employ urgent persuasion or entreaty.
  • intransitive verb To iron clothes or other material.
  • intransitive verb Sports To raise or lift a weight in a press.
  • intransitive verb Basketball To employ a press.
  • intransitive verb Sports In golf, to try to hit long or risky shots, typically with unsuccessful results.
  • noun Any of various machines or devices that apply pressure.
  • noun A printing press.
  • noun A place or establishment where matter is printed.
  • noun A publishing company.
  • noun The communications media considered as a whole, especially the agencies that collect, publish, transmit, or broadcast news and other information to the public.
  • noun News or other information disseminated to the public in printed, broadcast, or electronic form.
  • noun The people involved in the media, as news reporters and broadcasters.
  • noun The kind or extent of coverage a person or event receives in the media.
  • noun A large gathering; a crowd.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Alteration of obsolete prest, to hire for military service by advance payment, from Middle English, enlistment money, loan, from Old French, from prester, to lend, from Medieval Latin praestāre, from Latin, to furnish, from praestō, present, at hand; see ghes- in Indo-European roots.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English pressen, from Old French presser, from Latin pressāre, frequentative of premere, to press; see per- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English pressen ("to crowd, thring, press"), from Old French presser ("to press") (Modern French presser) from Latin pressāre from pressus, past participle of premere "to press". Displaced native Middle English thringen ("to press, crowd, throng") (from Old English þringan ("to press, crowd")), Middle English thrasten ("to press, force, urge") (from Old English þrǣstan ("to press, force")), Old English þryscan ("to press"), Old English þȳwan ("to press, impress").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English presse ("throng, crowd, clothespress"), partially from Old English press ("clothespress"), from Medieval Latin pressa, and partially from Old French presse (Modern French presse) from Old French presser ("to press"), from Latin pressāre from pressus, past participle of premere "to press". Displaced native Middle English thring ("press, crowd, throng") (from Old English þring ("a press, crowd, anything that presses or confines")).



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  • A foreigner has here nothing to fear from being pressed as a sailor, unless, indeed, he should be found at any suspicious place. A singular invention for this purpose of pressing is a ship, which is placed on land not far from the Tower, on Tower Hill, furnished with masts and all the appurtenances of a ship. The persons attending this ship promise simple country people, who happen to be standing and staring at it, to show it to them for a trifle, and as soon as they are in, they are secured as in a trap, and according to circumstances made sailors of or let go again.

    - Karl Philipp Moritz, Travels in England in 1782

    November 8, 2008

  • Impressment, in addition to being a dirty lame trick, was one of the main causes of the War of 1812.

    November 8, 2008

  • "Chiefly Northeastern U.S. An upright closet or case used for storing clothing, books, or other articles."

    - American Heritage Dictionary

    July 22, 2010