depression

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noun de·pres·sion \ di-ˈpre-shən , dē- \
Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

Definition of depression

1 a astronomy :the angular distance of a celestial object below the horizon
b mathematics :the size of an angle of depression
2 :an act of depressing or a state of being depressed: such as
a :a pressing down :lowering
  • a depression of the tab key
b (1) :a state of feeling sad :dejection
  • anger, anxiety, and depression
(2) :a mood disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies
  • bouts of depression
  • suffering from clinical depression
c (1) :a reduction in activity, amount, quality, or force
  • a depression in trade
(2) biology :a lowering of physical or mental vitality or of functional activity
3 :a place or part that is lower than the surrounding area :a depressed place or part :hollow
  • The chicken pox left several depressions in her skin.
4 meteorology :4low 1b
  • a tropical depression
5 economics :a period of low general economic activity marked especially by rising levels of unemployment
  • heading towards a depression
  • periods of economic depression

Examples of depression in a Sentence

  1. She has been undergoing treatment for severe depression.

  2. Many people suffer from clinical depression for years before being diagnosed.

  3. After several years of an economic boom, it looks as though we may be heading toward a depression.

  4. The photographs show depressions in the moon's surface.

Recent Examples of depression from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'depression.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of depression

depression Synonyms


Financial Definition of DEPRESSION

depression

What It Is

A depression is a sustained downturn in economic activity characterized by high unemployment, decreased output and reduced levels of trade.

How It Works

Low levels of consumer confidence during times of depression generally result in a severe drop in consumer demand and spending. This leads companies to cut costs by reducing their workforces, resulting in high unemployment and even lower consumer confidence and spending. Prices and wages spiral downward, causing more turmoil.

The Great Depression of the 1930s is the best example of the far-reaching economic and social impact a depression can have.

Why It Matters

A depression can have devastating social and economic effects. It is generally accepted that dramatic government intervention is required in order to move an economy from depression to recovery.



DEPRESSION Defined for English Language Learners

depression

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noun

Definition of depression for English Language Learners

  • : a state of feeling sad

  • : a serious medical condition in which a person feels very sad, hopeless, and unimportant and often is unable to live in a normal way

  • : a period of time in which there is little economic activity and many people do not have jobs


DEPRESSION Defined for Kids

depression

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noun de·pres·sion \ di-ˈpre-shən \

Definition of depression for Students

1 :an act of pressing down
  • depression of the brake pedal
2 :a hollow place or part
  • My foot made a depression in the sand.
3 :a feeling of sadness
  • Your support eased my depression.
4 :a period of low activity in business with much unemployment

Medical Dictionary

depression

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noun de·pres·sion \ di-ˈpresh-ən \

medical Definition of depression

1 :a displacement downward or inward
  • depression of the jaw
2 :an act of depressing or a state of being depressed: as
a (1) :a state of feeling sad
(2) :a mood disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty with thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal thoughts or an attempt to commit suicide
b :a reduction in functional activity, amount, quality, or force
  • depression of autonomic function
  • depression of red blood cells


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