There is a sentence in an article which says : "Workers are hard-pressed to finish work during a tight off-service window". Can anyone explain my questions :

1. does *tight off-service* mean *tight schedule* 
2. why there is a - between *hard-pressed* and *off-service*.

Any comments are welcomed. Thanks

  • 1
    Without full context, I'm guessing a bit. But most likely a "tight off-service schedule" means that the work schedule allows very little time for the "worker handover process". If the workers were bus drivers, for example, there would be a few minutes allowed within the bus schedule for the driver changeover process, during which time the "service" (carrying of passengers to their destination) would be "suspended". But whatever their job, these people are "hard-pressed" (they find it difficult) to keep to the schedule, because there's not enough time allowed for worker changeovers. Nov 5, 2018 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


An "off-service window" sounds similar to a "maintenance window" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maintenance_window That is, a scheduled time when the machine or system is not available for service. "Window" is used in sense 5. in https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/window i.e. a period of time.

English is pretty flexible when it comes to spelling compound nouns and adjectives: sometimes they are spelled as two words; sometimes they are hyphenated; and sometimes they are run together. There will often be variants in use at the same time. For example, https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/hard-pressed also gives "hard pressed" as a variant form.

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