Etymology
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push (n.)

1560s, "a driving or impelling thrust," from push (v.). By 1590s as "a vigorous attempt." By 1803 as "a determined advance, a pushing forward." The sense of "persevering enterprise, a determined effort to get on" especially if inconsiderate of others is by 1855. Phrase when push comes to shove "when action must back up threats" is by 1936. An earlier Middle English noun push "a pustule, pimple, boil" probably is from pus by influence of push.

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forward (n.)

Old English foreweard, "the fore or front part" of something, "outpost; scout;" see forward (adv.). The position in football so called since 1879.

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forward (adv.)

Old English forewearde "toward the front, in front; toward the future; at the beginning;" see fore + -ward. Adjectival sense of "early" is from 1520s; that of "presumptuous" is attested from 1560s. The Old English adjective meant "inclined to the front; early; former."

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forward (v.)

1590s, "to help push forward," from forward (adv.). Meaning "to send (a letter, etc.) on to another destination" is from 1757; later of e-mail. Related: Forwarded; forwarding.

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push (v.)

c. 1300, pushen, "to shove, move onward, strike with a thrusting motion, thrust forcibly against for the purpose of impelling," from Old French poulser (Modern French pousser), from Latin pulsare "to beat, strike, push," frequentative of pellere (past participle pulsus) "to push, drive, beat" (from PIE root *pel- (5) "to thrust, strike, drive").

Transitive meaning "urge, incite, press" is by 1570s; that of "promote, advance or extend by persistence or diligent effort" is from 1714; intransitive sense of "make one's way with force and persistence (against obstacles, etc.)" is by 1718. The meaning "approach a certain age" is from 1937. For palatization of -s-, OED compares brush (n.1); quash. Related: Pushed; pushing.

To push up daisies "be dead and buried" is from World War I, but variants with the same meaning date back to 1842.

"Pushing up the daisies now," said a soldier of his dead comrade. [The American Florist, vol. xlviii, March 31, 1917]

To push (someone) around "bully, browbeat, domineer" is by 1923. To push (one's) luck is from 1754. To push the envelope in the figurative sense is by late 1980s.

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push-cart (n.)

"hand-cart," by 1893, from push (v.) + cart (n.).

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push-up (n.)

also pushup, type of physical exercise (originally done on parallel bars), 1893, from the verbal phrase (by 1660s); see push (v.) + up (adv.). As an adjective, "that pushes up or may be pushed up," from 1892; of bras from 1957. Related: Push-ups

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push-button (adj.)

"characterized by the use of push-buttons," 1945, originally of military systems, earlier "operated by push-buttons" (1903), from push-button (n.) "button pressed with the finger to effect some operation," 1865, from push (v.) + button (n.). Earlier adjective was press-button (1892), from the noun (1879).

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push-off (n.)

"act of pushing off" (a boat, from the land), 1902, from the verbal phrase; see push (v.) + off (adv.).

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propel (v.)

mid-15c., propellen, "to drive away, expel," from Latin propellere "push forward, drive forward, drive forth; move, impel," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + pellere "to push, drive" (from PIE root *pel- (5) "to thrust, strike, drive"). Meaning "to drive onward, cause to move forward" is from 1650s. Related: Propelled; propelling.

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