- To have one's time taken up by administrative, often seemingly petty, paperwork:
spent the afternoon pushing paper for the boss.
- To be dead and buried:
a cemetery of heroes pushing up daisies.
- At a point when the situation must be confronted and dealt with:
When push comes to shove, we'll have to move to a cheaper place.
- matters become serious or reach a critical point where some action or decision is required
- to move a boat, etc. out into the water by pushing, as with an oar, against the bank or pier
- to set out; depart
Other Word Forms of Push
Idioms, Phrasal Verbs Related to Push
- push paper
- push up daisies
- push comes to shove
- push off
- push on
Origin of Push
Middle English pushen, poshen, posson, from Middle French pousser (Modern French pousser) from Old French poulser, from Latin pulsare, frequentative of pellere (past participle pulsus) "to beat, strike". Displaced native Middle English thrucchen (“to push") (from Old English þryccan (“to push")), Middle English scauten (“to push, thrust") (from Old Norse skota), Middle English schoven (“to push, shove") (from Old English scofian), Middle English schuven (“to shove, push") (from Old English scÅ«fan, scÄ“ofan (“to shove, push, thrust")), Middle English thuden, thudden (“to push, press, thrust") (from Old English þȳdan, þyddan (“to thrust, press, push")).
Middle English pusshen from Old French poulser, pousser from Latin pulsāre frequentative of pellere to strike, push pel-5 in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
Probably French poche. See pouch.
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