I can't think of a word that describes somebody who is under a lot of pressure. The most satisfactory word I can think of is "strained," but that isn't very rich. It can be an adjective, noun, or even verb, as long as it describes somebody who is under a lot of pressure. I'll tell you if I end up using your suggestion. Thank you.

  • 2
    "Stressed" seems like it would fit here.
    – BradC
    Nov 1 at 21:00
  • @BradC Hmm, well that isn't a very vivid alternative. Do you have a different, more descriptive adjective? Nov 1 at 21:05
  • Deep sea diver.
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 1 at 21:46
  • 1
    You are supposed to consult common reference sources before posting here. Have you looked at a thesaurus? What did you find? Why didn't you like any of the words?
    – Stuart F
    Nov 1 at 22:10
  • 1
    Just pressed or hard pressed (hard-pressed): The juice company was hard pressed to come up with a solution. I stole that from Forbes. Nov 2 at 0:20

2 Answers 2


You could say that they're under the gun.

In a stressful situation that requires quick action, often to meet a deadline; under pressure. https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/under+the+gun

"Under pressure" (which you've already used in your question) seems to work too.

  • Oh, perfect. I've never heard that one. Thank you! Nov 3 at 21:23

harried, burdened, under the pump, flat out like a lizard drinking... many options, but depends on your intended tone, context & co.

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