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press (one's) luck
To risk losing the good favor or fortune one has garnered thus far by brashly or overconfidently seeking more. I know you're in the boss's good graces now, but don't press your luck: she's been known to turn on people for getting too cocky. I've had some good winnings at blackjack, but I don't think I should press my luck any further.
press the panic button
To overreact to a negative situation with an inordinate amount of fear, alarm, or confusion. If you're going to be a successful boss, you can't press the panic button every time your company has a minor setback. New parents tend to press the panic button over every little sniffle their first baby gets.
press (someone's) buttons
1. To do things that create a very strong emotional reaction in someone, especially anger, irritation, or exasperation. I hate Dave's new boyfriend—he's always trying to press my buttons, and he's doing a good job of it! No one will be able to press your buttons like your children, but it's all a part of the adventure of parenthood.
2. To be sexually attractive or arousing to someone. Did you see that waitress over at the other table? Man, she presses my buttons.
press (someone or something) into service
To force, coerce, or pressure someone or something into fulfilling a particular function or purpose. My uncle is an ordained minister, so maybe we can press him into service for our wedding. Our van broke down just ahead of our big road trip, so our tiny sedan had to be pressed into service.
1. To apply physical force or pressure to something, typically with one's fingers. Next, press on the big red button—that should reset it. What about here? Does it hurt when I press on it? This part is out of place, which is making this piece press on the fan.
2. To continue or try to do something with determination, especially when facing hardships or setbacks. It was discouraging to learn that our budget had been cut, but we pressed on in the hopes of recovering our investment costs. We have to press on. We've come too far to turn back now!
press (something) (up)on (one)
To urge or try to persuade someone to take or accept something. Despite our protests, my parents pressed the money on us to help pay for the wedding. He pressed the documents on the reporter, insisting that it would be a huge story.
To continue or try to do something with determination, especially when facing hardships or setbacks. It was discouraging to learn that our budget had been cut, but we pressed onward in the hopes of recovering our investment costs. We have to press onward. We've come too far to turn back now!
press (the) flesh
To meet, talk to, and shake hands with many different people. Used especially in reference to a politician running for office. There's no way you'll win the election if you aren't out pressing the flesh among your constituents. I've always been something of a germophobe, so I don't like pressing flesh with strangers.
press (all) the right buttons
To do something very skillfully and in a way that produces the best or desired result. While the movie's plot is a bit thin, its charming 1980s aesthetic pushes all the right buttons. I must have hit the right buttons, because they've asked me back for a second interview.
press the button
1. To initiate a war with another country, especially at a nuclear level. Many fear that the recent decision to restrict the country's access to foreign oil and other imports may drive their leader to press the button.
2. By extension, to initiate or instigate something. After debating it with myself for nearly a year, I decided to press the button and start my own company.
To make a formal legal complaint of wrongdoing or mistreatment against another person. A: "Is it true that Greg pressed charges against you?" B: "Yes, but his claim is completely false! I've never done anything to him!" I really hope our neighbors don't press charges against us—I never would have cut down that tree if I had known it was on their property!
1. To request, urge, or demand for something to happen. We've been pressing for an increase in the minimum wage for the last decade. Employees pressed for a police investigation into the CEO after it came to light that he'd been using company funds to pay for personal vacations.
2. To request, urge, or demand that someone do or provide something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "press" and "for." The journalist pressed him for an answer to her question, but the senator declined to comment. The auditors are pressing me for an explanation about the missing money—what am I supposed to tell them?
press charges (against someone)and file charges (against someone)
Fig. to make a formal charge of wrongdoing against someone. They agreed not to press charges against me if I agreed to pay for the damages.
press for something
1. to urge for something to be done; to request something. The mayor is pressing for an early settlement to the strike. I will press her for an answer. The citizens are pressing for an investigation of the incident.
2. to press a button for service. If you need any help, just press for service. Here is the steward's button. Just press for immediate service.
press on something
to push or depress something, such as a button, catch, snap, etc. Press on this button if you require room service. Don't press on this because it rings a loud bell.
to continue; to continue to try. Don't give up! Press onward! I have lots to do. I must press on.
press something (up)on someone
to urge or force something on someone; to try to get someone to accept something. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) He always presses second helpings upon his guests. She pressed a gift on us that we could not refuse.
press (up)on someone or something
to put pressure on someone or something. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) The crowd pressed upon the child, squeezing out all his breath. The load presses on your car's springs very heavily.
press the buttoninitiate an action or train of events. informal
During the cold war period, this expression was often used with reference to the possible action of the US or Soviet presidents in starting a nuclear war.
press (or push or hit) the panic buttonrespond to a situation by panicking or taking emergency measures. informal
A panic button is a security device which can be used to raise the alarm in an emergency.
To entreat or require someone to provide something: The reporters pressed the politician for a reply.
1. To apply direct pressure to something: I pressed on the edge of the table, and it tipped over.
2. To continue doing something with determination and despite setbacks: Despite their exhaustion, the climbers pressed on toward the summit.
press the panic buttonverb
To bring a formal accusation of criminal wrongdoing against someone.