Could you tell me if it is correct and natural to say push something on someone meaning to sell something to someone they don't need? For example:

The salesman was so slick that he managed to push a totally useless thing on a few people.

If it sounds off, would you tell me what you would say to communicate the meaning?

  • Yes, it is an idiomatic expression.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 13, 2021 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


"To push something on someone" is not a set phrase; here are a few with push. You can use force something on someone instead:

to make someone do or accept something even though they do not want to

  • It’s no good trying to force a diet on someone. (Longman)
  • Yes, in fact, it is a "set phrase" aka idiomatic expression.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 13, 2021 at 15:20
  • It's certainly a set phrase in Canada, where I'm from.
    – gotube
    Commented Apr 14, 2022 at 18:52

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