Full-Court Press

Meaning of Full Court Press Idiom

full court press, when used as an idiom, refers to applying aggressive tactics using all the resources at your disposal to exert maximum pressure in order to achieve some desired outcome.


This expression can be used in any situation, but it is most often used in the world of business, especially when one business is exerting pressure on another. It is used as a noun as in “a full court press.”

Examples of Use

“If we’re going to close this deal, it will take a full-court press.”

“There is no way she’s going to sell unless we have all hands on deck. We need a full court press here, folks.”


There are many sports related idioms in English. Although most such idioms come from baseball, this is one of several which come to us from basketball. In basketball, a full court press refers to a defensive tactic where the entire team is used to put pressure on the other team over the entire court, thus disrupting their ball handling, passing, dribbling, etc. This defense happens as soon as the inbound pass occurs, as opposed to allowing the other team to reach half-court.

As an idiom, it simply alludes to using all of one’s resources to put pressure on another group or individual.

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