full-court press

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full-court press

1. In basketball, a strategy in which the defensive team applies pressure on the offensive team across the entire court. We were down by 15, so we ran a full-court press and started to create some turnovers.
2. By extension, an aggressive or increased effort to win or accomplish something. Congress pulled out a full-court press in an effort to get the bill passed.
See also: press
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

full-court press

An all-out effort to exert pressure. For example, She'd learned over the years how to deliver a full-court press of guilt. The term alludes to a basketball tactic in which the defenders put pressure on the opposing team over the entire court, trying to disrupt their dribbling and passing. [Late 1900s]
See also: press
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a full-court press

A full-court press is a big effort to achieve something. He praised the full-court press by Canadian officials, which included a personal telephone call from the prime minister. When his daughter became ill, he had to do a full-court press to get her treated. Note: You can say that you put the full-court press on someone if you put a lot of pressure on them to achieve something or give you something. We should put the full-court press on the government to obtain funding for major road projects. Note: In basketball, a full-court press is where the defending players stay close to the attacking players over the whole area of the court, rather than just in front of their own basket.
See also: press
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

full-court press, a

A vigorous attack. This expression comes from a basketball tactic in which the defense exerts pressure on their opponents along the full length of the court, trying to interfere with their dribbling and passing in order to get back the ball. It began to be used figuratively in the late 1970s, particularly in politics. During the Persian Gulf War the (George H. W.) Bush administration used it to signify a major offensive.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Very few basketball teams run the full-court press defense, and when they do, they rarely do it for more than a few minutes of each game.
So what is the credit union equivalent of the full-court press? The question was posed to Gladwell following his address by a listener who submitted it via Twitter.
More than a few agents have attempted the estate planning full-court press. They often call me after their case has stalled.
28 ( ANI ): Florida socialite Jill Kelley's, the woman at the heart of the sex scandal that ensnared CIA director General David Petraeus, legal team is launching a full-court press to defend her reputation in response to damaging reports from the disgrace.
The approach by CAC is tantamount to a full-court press as the grant project unleashes a bevy of activities such as enhancing transfer pathways for microbiology and biotechnology, providing supplemental instruction for students and developing summer science camps, Math enrichment and refresher courses, as well as programs such as robotics are on the table.
With the letter, the provincial government joins Ottawa and the oil industry in a Canadian full-court press to sway the European Union away from labeling one of the country's most lucrative exports as inherently dirty.
She continued: "You are naive if you don't see a full-court press right now on the national level picking apart a good point guard."
"We have a full-court press on to make sure these violent criminal aliens don't step back into the community because we miss them in our identification process," said David Venturella, the executive director of ICE's Secure Communities program.
"A win here could be a game-changer, so Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are offering a full-court press."
A full-court press by the Pentagon to accelerate the production of MRAP has raised fundamental questions about the Defense Department's ability to acquire critical hardware on short notice.
has launched a full-court press against McKay Motors I LLC and McKay, saying he owes it at least $1.5 million, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S.
Yet despite the fact that strict federal privacy laws would prohibit the names of individual students from ever being released, lobbyists for private colleges put on a full-court press to block the proposal, loudly denouncing it as "Orwellian" and "an assault on Americans' privacy and security in the shadow of the Fourth of July."
The "50" in "50 Press" does not signify a half-court defense, but that it is a full-court press with everyone playing man-to-man defense.
Hawks were then stunned as Rugby came out with a full-court press to wrap up things 102-97.
The group is clearly putting on a full-court press. But troubling questions remain about partisanship.