1 [ trans. ] exert force on (someone or something), typically with one's hand, in order to move them away from oneself or the origin of the force : she pushed her glass toward him | he pushed a card under the door | [ intrans. ] he pushed at the skylight, but it wouldn't budge. • [ trans. ] hold and exert force on (something) so as to cause it to move along in front of one : a woman was pushing a stroller. • move one's body or a part of it into a specified position, esp. forcefully or with effort : she pushed her hands into her pockets. • [ trans. ] press (a part of a machine or other device) : he pushed the button for the twentieth floor. • figurative affect (something) so that it reaches a specified level or state : they expect that the huge crop will push down prices. 2 [ intrans. ] move forward by using force to pass people or cause them to move aside : she pushed her way through the crowded streets | he pushed past an old woman in his haste. • (of an army) advance over territory : the guerrillas have pushed south to within 100 miles of the capital. • exert oneself to attain something or surpass others : I was pushing hard until about 10 laps from the finish. • ( push for) demand persistently : the council continued to push for the better management of water resources. • [ trans. ] compel or urge (someone) to do something, esp. to work hard : she believed he was pushing their daughter too hard. • ( be pushed) informal have very little of something, esp. time : I'm a bit pushed for time at the moment. • ( be pushing) informal be nearly (a particular age) : she must be pushing forty, but she's still a good looker. 3 [ trans. ] informal promote the use, sale, or acceptance of : the company is pushing a $500 asking price. • put forward (an argument or demand) with undue force or in too extreme a form : he thought that the belief in individualism had been pushed too far.