adjective op·pres·sive \ə-ˈpre-siv\

: very cruel or unfair

: very unpleasant or uncomfortable

Full Definition of OPPRESSIVE

:  unreasonably burdensome or severe <oppressive legislation>
:  overwhelming or depressing to the spirit or senses <an oppressive climate>
op·pres·sive·ly adverb
op·pres·sive·ness noun

Examples of OPPRESSIVE

  1. The country is ruled by an oppressive regime.
  2. I think these laws are oppressive.
  3. This region suffers from oppressive heat in the summer months.
  4. The situation was extremely tense; no one said a word, and the silence was oppressive.

First Known Use of OPPRESSIVE

circa 1677

Synonym Discussion of OPPRESSIVE

onerous, burdensome, oppressive, exacting mean imposing hardship. onerous stresses being laborious and heavy especially because distasteful <the onerous task of cleaning up the mess>. burdensome suggests causing mental as well as physical strain <burdensome responsibilities>. oppressive implies extreme harshness or severity in what is imposed <the oppressive tyranny of a police state>. exacting implies rigor or sternness rather than tyranny or injustice in the demands made or in the one demanding <an exacting employer>.
OPPRESSIVE Defined for Kids


adjective op·pres·sive \ə-ˈpre-siv\

Definition of OPPRESSIVE for Kids

:  cruel or harsh without just cause <oppressive laws>
:  very unpleasant or uncomfortable <oppressive heat>
op·pres·sive·ly adverb


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