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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Some Republicans fear that Trump’s relentless attacks on the voting system could depress voter turnout between now and January 5. Stuart Emmrich, Vogue, "As Georgia Voting Begins, Ossoff and Warnock Take on the “Bonnie and Clyde of Political Corruption”," 14 Dec. 2020 As Trump continues his blame game, some Republicans in the state fear that the doubt the president is sowing about the integrity of the election could depress turnout in January. Barnini Chakraborty, Washington Examiner, "Georgia lieutenant governor defends Republicans Trump has bashed and says party is 'better than this'," 1 Dec. 2020 There is a popular theory that keeps circulating that teens using TikTok managed to artificially depress the turnout to a Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June and that the Trump administration developed a vendetta against the app as a result. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "TikTok users troll Trump “voter fraud” reporting hotline en masse," 9 Nov. 2020 Has a second set of robocalls been used to try and depress the Democratic vote turnout in Northeast Ohio, this time in Shaker Heights? Laura Johnston, cleveland, "Joe Biden stops by swing state Ohio on Election Eve: This Week in the CLE," 2 Nov. 2020 Some auto industry executives worry investment in charging will be concentrated in richer, Western member states and the difficulty of finding public charging stations in Eastern European countries will depress demand. Nick Carey And Helena Soderpalm, The Christian Science Monitor, "Electric cars are on the rise in cities. Can power grids cope?," 16 Dec. 2020 Even as the German government seeks to prop up the economy, the fallout from the pandemic will likely depress business activity and lead to company failures, according to the head of the DIW economic institute. Arne Delfs,, "Merkel Hints at Lockdown Extension as Deaths Surge to Record," 15 Dec. 2020 Minnesota’s exports continued to fall sharply in the third quarter, though not by quite as much as in previous months, as the pandemic continued to depress worldwide demand for the state’s products. Kavita Kumar, Star Tribune, "Minnesota's exports fell 14% in third quarter, according to DEED report," 4 Dec. 2020 But a second wave of coronavirus lockdowns across Europe, and the threat of further restrictions in the United States could delay the economic recovery and will depress oil demand. Hanna Ziady, CNN, "This week's oil price rally is built on shaky ground," 12 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for depress

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for depress

Last Updated

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Depress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for depress


How to pronounce depress (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of depress

: to make (someone) feel sad : to make (someone) depressed
: to decrease the activity or strength of (something)
formal : 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.
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

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Comments on depress

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