de·​press | \ di-ˈpres How to pronounce depress (audio) , dē- \
depressed; depressing; depresses

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

Other Words from depress

depressible \ di-​ˈpre-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce depress (audio) , dē-​ \ 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Covid cases in China began to rise in early August, leading to lockdowns in several cities, threatening to depress factory operations and consumer confidence even further. Stella Yifan Xie, WSJ, 7 Sep. 2022 On Friday, the Disklavier piano was turned toward the audience, allowing viewers to watch for the moments when the Voyager software — running on a nearby computer — elected to depress the keys of the Disklavier. New York Times, 22 Aug. 2022 Another tell tale sign is whether expectations of weaker demand bring the oil price down towards USD 75 per barrel, a shift that cosmetically would help to depress inflation. Mike O'sullivan, Forbes, 11 June 2022 Gelsinger has warned shareholders that the spending spree will depress profit margins for several years. oregonlive, 30 Mar. 2022 Last year, Desai filed an amicus brief on behalf of Democratic activist groups including Fair Fight Action, arguing that measures ending ballot harvesting were designed to depress voter turnout among minority communities. Gregory Svirnovskiy, The Arizona Republic, 13 July 2022 Markets will have to adjust Zero percent interest rates depress government bond rates, essentially forcing investors to bet on riskier assets like stocks. Matt Egan, CNN, 27 July 2022 Many economists and investors expect higher energy prices and supply disruptions stemming from the war to depress growth in Europe. Caitlin Mccabe, WSJ, 20 May 2022 Congressional inaction, in particular, can frustrate and depress voter turnout, saidJohn Della Volpe, director of polling at Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics. Anumita Kaur, Los Angeles Times, 1 June 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

18 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Depress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for depress


de·​press | \ di-ˈpres How to pronounce depress (audio) \
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 How to pronounce depress (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on depress

Nglish: Translation of depress for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of depress for Arabic Speakers


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