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pressure (n.)

late 14c., "suffering, anguish; act or fact of pressing on the mind or heart," from Old French presseure "oppression; torture; anguish; press" (for wine or cheeses), "instrument of torture" (12c.) and directly from Latin pressura "action of pressing," from pressus, past participle of premere "to press, hold fast, cover, crowd, compress" (from PIE root *per- (4) "to strike").

Literal meaning "act or fact of pressing" in a physical sense is attested from early 15c. Meaning "moral or mental coercing force" is from 1620s; meaning "urgency" is from 1812. Scientific sense in physics is from 1650s. Pressure cooker is attested from 1915; figurative sense is from 1958. Pressure point is attested from 1876. Pressure-treated, of woods, is from 1911.

pressure (v.)

"to pressurize," 1886, American English, from pressure (n.). Meaning "to exert pressure on" (someone) is attested by 1922. Related: Pressured; pressuring.

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Definitions of pressure from WordNet
1
pressure (n.)
the force applied to a unit area of surface; measured in pascals (SI unit) or in dynes (cgs unit);
the compressed gas exerts an increased pressure
Synonyms: pressure level / force per unit area
pressure (n.)
a force that compels;
the public brought pressure to bear on the government
pressure (n.)
the somatic sensation that results from applying force to an area of skin;
the sensitivity of his skin to pressure and temperature was normal
Synonyms: pressure sensation
pressure (n.)
an oppressive condition of physical or mental or social or economic distress;
pressure (n.)
the pressure exerted by the atmosphere;
Synonyms: atmospheric pressure / air pressure
pressure (n.)
the state of demanding notice or attention;
Synonyms: imperativeness / insistence / insistency / press
pressure (n.)
the act of pressing; the exertion of pressure;
he used pressure to stop the bleeding
Synonyms: press / pressing
2
pressure (v.)
to cause to do through pressure or necessity, by physical, moral or intellectual means;
Synonyms: coerce / hale / squeeze / force
pressure (v.)
exert pressure on someone through threats;
Synonyms: blackmail / blackjack
From wordnet.princeton.edu