1. The act of pressing, or the condition of being pressed; compression; a squeezing; a crushing; as, a pressure of the hand.
2. A contrasting force or impulse of any kind; as, the pressure of poverty; the pressure of taxes; the pressure of motives on the mind; the pressure of civilization. Where the pressure of danger was not felt. (Macaulay)
3. Affliction; distress; grievance. My people’s pressures are grievous. (Eikon Basilike) In the midst of his great troubles and pressures. (Atterbury)
4. Urgency; as, the pressure of business.
5. Impression; stamp; character impressed. All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past. (Shak)
6. (Science: mechanics) The action of a force against some obstacle or opposing force; a force in the nature of a thrust, distributed over a surface, often estimated with reference to the upon a unit’s area. Atmospheric pressure, Center of pressure, etc. See Atmospheric, Center, etc.
(Science: engineering) back pressure, pressure which resists the motion of the piston, as the pressure of exhaust steam which does not find free outlet. Fluid pressure, pressure like that exerted by a fluid. It is a thrust which is normal and equally intense in all directions around a point. Pressure gauge, a gauge for indicating fluid pressure; a manometer.
Origin: OF, fr. L. Pressura, fr. Premere.