Full-court press

Full-court press is an idiom that originated in the United States. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom full-court press, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

A full-court press is a robust attempt to do something; it is an all-out attack or offensive. The expression full-court press involves unrelenting effort and using all one’s resources to achieve a goal. The full-court press is a type of strategy used in American basketball. Usually, the team on the defensive allows the team that controls the ball to get half-court before engaging; in a full-court press, the defensive team applies pressure to the team controlling the ball for the entire length of the court. Basketball coach John McLendon invented the tactic in the 1950s, and the term became an idiom in the 1970s. Note that full-court is hyphenated in the phrase full-court press.

Examples

Defense Minister Benny Gantz will follow Barnea as part of a full-court press heading to the US on Thursday. (Jerusalem Post)

All signs now point to a full-court press by the GOP to rig state election rules in a bid to stay in power permanently. (Jacobin)

“They’ll stick to charges in the opening, then in closing they can go full throttle and give a full-court press,” he said. (New York Post)

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