Is there a difference between pressure and force?

First, let’s eliminate the multifarious political, military, social, philosophical, psychological, and other emotional and other conceptual meanings of these two words.

We will assume that you want to differentiate these terms in the broadest context of the physical sciences.

Pressure is used in indicate that there is a quantifiable force applied to an object by another, often in term of a unit of area.

Force is used to indicate there is a quantifiable vector being applied by an object upon another.

The specific selection of one or the other term necessitates that the user acknowledge conventions of usage. For example, when working with gases, the term pressure is used to convey the concept of force applied by a gas upon a container. In contrast, when working with physical objects in mechanics, the term force is used to convey the concept of a vector applying energy to another object.

Selection of either term is dependent upon the specific situation. Science uses conventions of accepted usage in order to know instinctively which term best conveys the meaning depending upon the scientific context regarding the materials involved.

Term selection will best be conveyed in various scientific contexts by identifying the formulas with their units of measure used to quantify force and pressure in specific situations. Those situations include mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity, and others.

Use of mathematical definitions in specific contexts will eliminate the apparent ambiguity.

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