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 Republican lawmakers there are currently considering measures that would sharply cut absentee voting and early voting, citing the risk of voter fraud in what appears to be a thinly veiled attempt to depress Democratic turnout. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Why Republicans Won’t Shut Up About a 16-Year-Old Bipartisan Report on Election Reform," 10 Mar. 2021 The Republicans argued that voting regulations should pass muster as long as voters of minority groups had an equal opportunity to vote; Democrats contended that regulations that disproportionately depress minority turnout could be violations. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Sends Mixed Signals in Voting Rights Case," 2 Mar. 2021 These steps amount to a shot across the bow of the oil industry and could eventually depress US fossil fuel production. Matt Egan, CNN, "Oil is up nearly 70% since the election, a record in the modern era," 26 Feb. 2021 Since the military coup, the military has subjected major cities to a communications blackout between the hours of 1 a.m. and 9 a.m. in an effort to depress the effectiveness of protests such as the nationwide general strike this past Monday. Washington Post, "Facebook bans Myanmar’s military, citing threat of new violence after Feb. 1 coup," 25 Feb. 2021 Such changes could level the playing field overall but depress home values in some areas. USA Today, "Flood-prone homeowners could see major rate hikes in FEMA flood insurance changes, new study finds," 21 Feb. 2021 Minor spats might disturb your tranquility, and a lack of social activity could depress your spirits as the week unwinds. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Jan. 31, 2021: Happy birthday Minnie Driver; Pisces, root for an underdog," 31 Jan. 2021 Despite fears among some Republicans that Trump's baseless claims of voter fraud could depress turnout, the two GOP candidates have pledged fealty to the president. Arkansas Online, "Decision day in Georgia with Senate majority at stake," 5 Jan. 2021 Despite fears among some Republicans that Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud could depress turnout, the two GOP candidates have pledged fealty to the president. Steve Peoples, Anchorage Daily News, "Control of US Senate hangs in balance on final day of voting in Georgia," 5 Jan. 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.

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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

22 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Depress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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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)
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.


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

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Comments on depress

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