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 The winter of 2021-22 is just getting started, which may cheer or depress some. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12 Jan. 2022 The effect of this was to artificially depress market prices and financially disincentivize anyone from exploring for helium, so until recently it has only been found incidentally, by petroleum companies scouting rock formations for hydrocarbons. William Ralston, Wired, 16 Dec. 2021 Card also found that immigration does not lower wages for people born in a country, but may depress pay for people who emigrated to the country at an earlier time. Peter Weber, The Week, 11 Oct. 2021 Ordinarily that vacancy rate would be high enough to depress rents, but empty units are being rented fast enough to suggest only moderate increases in rents are coming in those neighborhoods. Roger Vincent Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 12 Nov. 2021 The move toward deglobalization – as companies move from efficient to resilient supply chains – will depress growth over the long term. Steve Banker, Forbes, 3 Nov. 2021 Falling real wages and shrinking profit margins will continue to depress output, and the US economy will enter a period of stagflation something like the late 1970s. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 30 Oct. 2021 Rather, Brackett and her colleagues are hoping to lay the groundwork for gene therapy in the form of an injection that deletes Fel d 1 from enough cells to depress the cat’s overall production. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 5 Nov. 2021 To successfully depress viral evolution, transmission and infection rates must decrease. 500 Women Scientists, Scientific American, 18 Aug. 2021

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.

See More

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

Learn More About depress

Time Traveler for depress

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near depress




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for depress

Last Updated

21 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Depress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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 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


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!