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

Leaders fear that opening the House floor up to an unpredictable series of votes on immigration bills -- including legislation that has Democratic support -- could depress GOP base turnout in the midterms. Lauren Fox, CNN, "On latest immigration fight, moderates use conservative playbook," 22 May 2018 McCarthy also told the conference this effort would depress the Republican base in the upcoming midterm elections this fall. NBC News, "Republican infighting over immigration sinks farm bill," 18 May 2018 Predictably, morale among front office employees to game-day workers remains a few ticks above depressing. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "When it comes to the Rangers' demise, blame starts at the very top," 14 Apr. 2018 The study from researchers at Ohio State University finds that fake news likely played a significant role in depressing Hillary Clinton's support on Election Day 2016. The Washington Post,, "Fake news might have won Donald Trump the 2016 election, new study suggests," 3 Apr. 2018 Art doesn't always have to be high-stakes and depressing! Tom Philip, GQ, "The Best Movies/TV to Stream on Hulu This July 4," 3 July 2018 The speaker has said that could discourage conservative voters who are a crucial part of the party’s base and depress turnout for Republican candidates in November’s congressional elections. Anna Edgerton,, "House GOP Meets Again on Immigration as Deal Remains Elusive," 12 June 2018 Months before the incident, Martinez appeared to be depressed, neighbors told the Journal-Constitution. Harriet Sokmensuer,, "Georgia Mom Allegedly Fatally Stabbed Four Children and Husband — But Prosecutors Won't Seek Death Penalty," 17 Apr. 2018 Experts expect all of these measures to depress participation in Obamacare, especially among the young and the healthy, thereby forcing insurers on the ACA marketplaces to jack up their premiums. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Why Democrats Could See a Polling Boost Right Before the Midterms," 2 Apr. 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

26 Oct 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

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