de·press | \ di-ˈpres , dē- \

Definition of depress 

transitive verb

1 obsolete : repress, subjugate

2a : to press down depress a typewriter key

b : to cause to sink to a lower position

3 : to lessen the activity or strength of drugs that may depress the appetite

4 : sadden, discourage don't let the news depress you

5 : to decrease the market value or marketability of

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Other words from depress

depressible \-ˈpre-sə-bəl \ adjective

Examples of depress in a Sentence

The news seemed to depress him a little. I don't mean to depress you, but there's no way we can win. We were all depressed by the loss. You shouldn't let this kind of problem depress you. These changes could depress the economy. Market conditions are likely to depress earnings in the next quarter. depressing the price of a stock Slowly depress the car's brake pedal. Depress the “shift” key on your keyboard. The doctor will depress your tongue and look at your throat.
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Recent Examples on the Web

After contact with Petty and the outside wall, Pearson was able to keep his car running by depressing the clutch. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "How radio communication provided a winning tool and changed the course of NASCAR racing," 9 July 2018 Others could find a certain topic depressing at best., "Horoscope," 27 June 2018 Americans are uncomfortable with female leadership The canon on women-and-leadership lives, for the most part, on the far side of depressing. Laura Mcgann, Vox, "Are Democrats brave enough to run a woman against Donald Trump?," 16 June 2018 As nightmarish near-futures go, so far, so pretty interesting, if depressing. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Hotel Artemis' isn't worth checking out, despite its guest list," 8 June 2018 Well, let’s just say things have gone a bit better since that depressing freeze-out. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Since the big freeze-out in Chicago, Brewers have come closer to hitting on all cylinders," 23 May 2018 Taste of Chicago ends Sunday, which must be depressing to those who love standing out in the hot sun, sweating, eating fatty food in crowds and getting slimed by strangers committing the sin of Random Sweat Transfer. John Kass,, "For Mayor Globe-trotter, it's the money that matters," 13 July 2018 But the commission complains that a glut of drivers is depressing driver earnings and has proposed a minimum-wage equation that would require apps to compensate drivers more per trip when more drivers are idle. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Taxi Empire Strikes Back," 9 July 2018 Officers were demoted or sacked and sent home, and seamen flogged with depressing regularity. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "‘All indulged’: Puget Sound’s wildest Fourth of July party was its first one — in 1841," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'depress.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of depress

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for depress

Middle English, from Middle French depresser, from Latin depressus, past participle of deprimere to press down, from de- + premere to press — more at press

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Statistics for depress

Last Updated

31 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for depress

The first known use of depress was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for depress



English Language Learners Definition of depress

: to make (someone) feel sad : to make (someone) depressed

: to decrease the activity or strength of (something)

: to press (something) down


de·press | \ di-ˈpres \
depressed; depressing

Kids Definition of depress

1 : to press down Depress the “enter” key.

2 : to make sad or discouraged Don't let the news depress you.

3 : to lessen the activity or strength of Bad weather had depressed sales.


transitive verb
de·press | \ di-ˈpres \

Medical Definition of depress 

1 : to diminish the activity, strength, or yield of able to depress irritability of the heart muscle by the use of such a drug as procaine

2 : to lower in spirit or mood

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Comments on depress

What made you want to look up depress? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

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