de·​pres·​sion | \ di-ˈpre-shən How to pronounce depression (audio) , dē- \

Definition of depression

1 : an act of depressing or a state of being depressed: such as
a(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
b(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
c : a pressing down : lowering a depression of the tab key
2 economics : a period of low general economic activity marked especially by rising levels of unemployment heading towards a depression periods of economic depression
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 : low entry 2 sense 1b a tropical depression
5a astronomy : the angular distance of a celestial object below the horizon
b mathematics : the size of an angle of depression

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Synonyms & Antonyms for depression



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Examples of depression in a Sentence

She has been undergoing treatment for severe depression. Many people suffer from clinical depression for years before being diagnosed. After several years of an economic boom, it looks as though we may be heading toward a depression. The photographs show depressions in the moon's surface.
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Recent Examples on the Web Among those who contributed, 57% reported experiencing medium to high levels of psychological distress, including depression, anxiety, and workplace fatigue. Nick Brucker, Forbes, "Four Ways To Eliminate Burnout," 10 May 2021 The Champions of Hope participants learned, throughout 2020-2021, about problems such as homelessness, depression, suicide and human trafficking, and about how community leaders and volunteers are working to address those concerns. Kimberly Dishongh, Arkansas Online, "Praiseworthy," 9 May 2021 Samin Nosrat discusses veganism, depression, and writing a new cookbook. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Andrew McCarthy Revisits the Brat Pack," 9 May 2021 And scientists are conducting studies on whether psychedelics can be effective in treating everything from depression, autism and opioid addiction to anorexia and the anxieties experienced by the terminally ill. New York Times, "The Psychedelic Revolution Is Coming. Psychiatry May Never Be the Same.," 9 May 2021 Foley’s son, Frank, said his once-strong father suffers from severe anxiety, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder and often barricades himself in his room., "Citing First Step Act, judge tosses life sentence for man who built bomb that killed Boston police officer in 1991," 7 May 2021 More than a dozen conditions, including cancer, a terminal illness, depression, epilepsy, panic disorder and chronic pain would allow a person to qualify. Kim Chandler, Star Tribune, "Alabama Legislature drops resistance, OKs medical marijuana," 6 May 2021 Almost 41% of Americans were struggling with mental health issues stemming from the pandemic, including depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts, according to a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey conducted in June 2020. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Americans are not getting the mental health treatment they need, report says," 3 May 2021 These include hot flashes, cognitive changes, sleep issues, depression, anxiety, stress and burnout, to name just a few. Lisa Deshantz-cook, Quartz, "Ready or not, we need to start talking about menopause in the workplace," 3 May 2021

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.

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First Known Use of depression

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5a

History and Etymology for depression

see depress

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Time Traveler for depression

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

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Statistics for depression

Last Updated

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Depression.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for depression



English Language Learners Definition of depression

: 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


de·​pres·​sion | \ di-ˈpre-shən How to pronounce depression (audio) \

Kids Definition of depression

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


de·​pres·​sion | \ di-ˈpresh-ən How to pronounce depression (audio) \

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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