American Dictionary of the English Language

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PRESS'URE, noun [Latin pressura.] The act of pressing or urging with force.

1. The act of squeezing or crushing. Wine is obtained by the pressure of grapes.

2. The state of being squeezed or crushed.

3. The force of one body acting on another by weight or the continued application of power. pressure is occasioned by weight or gravity, by the motion of bodies, by the expansion of fluids, by elasticity, etc. Mutual pressure may be caused by the meeting of moving bodies, or by the motion of one body against another at rest, and the resistance or elastic force of the latter. The degree of pressure is in proportion to the weight of the pressing body, or to the power applied, or to the elastic force of resisting bodies. The screw is a most powerful instrument of pressure The pressure of wind on the sails of a ship is in proportion to its velocity.

4. A constraining force or impulse; that which urges or compels the intellectual or moral faculties; as the pressure of motives on the mind, or of fear on the conscience.

5. That which afflicts the body or depresses the spirits; any severe affliction, distress, calamity or grievance; straits, difficulties, embarrassments, or the distress they occasion. We speak of the pressure of poverty or want, the pressure of debts, the pressure of taxes, the pressure of afflictions or sorrow.

My own and my people's pressures are grievous.

To this consideration he retreats with comfort in all his pressures.

We observe that pressure is used both for trouble or calamity, and for the distress it produces.

6. Urgency; as the pressure of business.

7. Impression; stamp; character impressed.

All laws of books, all forms, all pressures past.