|Origin:||poulser 'to hit, push', from Latin pulsare, from pellere 'to drive, hit'|
to make someone or something move by pressing them with your hands, arms etc [≠ pull]:
move[intransitive and transitive]
It didn't move, so she pushed harder.
I promised to push him on the swings for as long as he wanted.
shoppers pushing their grocery carts
push somebody/something away/back/aside etc
She pushed him away.
Maria pushed her hair back from her forehead.
push somebody/something towards/into etc something
Philip pushed him towards the door.
push something open/shut
I slowly pushed the door open.
to press a button, switch etc in order to make a piece of equipment start or stop working [= press]:
button/switch[intransitive and transitive]
I got in and pushed the button for the fourth floor.
Push the green button to start the engine.
to use your hands, arms etc to make people or things move, so that you can get past them:
try to get past[intransitive]
Don't push. Everyone will get a turn.
push (your way) past/through/into etc
A fat man pushed past me in his rush to leave.
She pushed her way to the front.
to encourage or force someone to do something or to work hard:
Encourage your kids to try new things, but try not to push them too hard.
athletes who push their bodies to the limit
He's been pushing himself too hard, working 12-hour days.
push somebody into (doing) something
My husband pushed me into leaving the job.
push somebody to do something
The teachers pushed the students to achieve.
to try to persuade people to accept your ideas, opinions etc in order to achieve something:
persuade[intransitive and transitive]
The president is trying to push his agenda in Congress.
push to do something
Company representatives are pushing to open foreign markets to their products.
push something on somebody
We don't try to push our religion on anyone.
to change someone's situation, or to make a situation change, especially when some people do not want it to change:
change[transitive always + adverb/preposition]
The law would push even more children into poverty.
attempts to push the peace process forward
to increase or decrease an amount, value, or number
increase/decrease[transitive always + adverb/preposition]
push something up/down
Slow sales have pushed down orders.
push something higher/lower
New technology has pushed the cost of health care even higher.
if an army pushes somewhere, it moves in that direction:
army[intransitive always + adverb/preposition]
The army was pushing north.
We pushed deep into enemy territory.
to try to sell more of a product by advertising it a lot:
Sports stars earn big bucks for pushing everything from shoes to soft drinks.
to sell illegal drugs ➔ pusher
to be nearly 40, 50 etc years old
to do something or ask for something, especially something you have done or asked for before, when this is likely to annoy someone or involves a risk:
If she doesn't want to go, don't push it.
It's 26 miles, so you're pushing your luck if you try to hike it in a day.
13 also push something to the back of your mind
to try not to think about something, especially something bad or worrying:
He pushed the thought out of his mind and tried to concentrate.
to make someone feel strong emotions:
Movies shouldn't be afraid to push a few buttons.
15 British English informal
to spend more money than you usually do, on something special:
Push the boat out and get tickets to the theatre or ballet.
to keep trying to make someone accept your opinion in a way that they think is annoying
17 American English
to do something that is new and that goes beyond the limits of what has already been done in a particular area of activity
push the envelope of/on
ideas that push the envelope of design and construction
to be dead - used humorously
push aheadphrasal verb
push ahead with
Quinlan decided to push ahead with the deal.
push alongphrasal verb
British English spoken
used to say that you think it is time for you to leave a place:
It's getting late - I think we should be pushing along.
push somebody aroundphrasal verb
Europeans sometimes feel the Americans are trying to push them around.
push somebody/something asidephrasal verb
to try to forget about something, especially something unpleasant, so that you can give your attention to what you are doing:
She pushed aside her anger, forcing herself to focus on her work.
to force someone out of their job or position, taking the job in their place:
Primakov was pushed aside but later became head of Intelligence.
push yourself forwardphrasal verb
to try to make other people notice you:
Rupert was a quiet type, not one to push himself forward.
push inphrasal verb
British English informal
to go in front of other people who are already waiting in a line for something, instead of going to the back of the line:
A couple of boys pushed in at the head of the queue.
push offphrasal verb
to start moving in a boat, on a bicycle, or when swimming or jumping, by pushing against something with your arms, legs etc:
Dad pushed off and jumped into the rowboat.
2 British English spoken
used to tell someone rudely to go away
push onphrasal verb
to continue travelling somewhere, especially after you have had a rest:
We decided to push on a little further.
to continue doing an activity
push on with
Nixon pushed on with the weapons development program.
push somebody/something ↔ overphrasal verb
He went wild, pushing over tables and chairs.
push something ↔ throughphrasal verb
The planning application was pushed through as quickly as possible.