down·​trod·​den | \ ˈdau̇n-ˈträ-dᵊn How to pronounce downtrodden (audio) \

Definition of downtrodden

: suffering oppression

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of downtrodden in a Sentence

They were poor and downtrodden. a war that was supposed to liberate the downtrodden citizens of that nation

Recent Examples on the Web

Emanuel’s challengers in his campaign for re-election have blamed him for an understaffed police force and a lack of investment in Chicago’s economically downtrodden neighborhoods. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Chicago shootings put spotlight on Illinois gun laws," 9 Aug. 2018 The demonstration was what the international newspapers reported about Russia the day before, and their stories confirmed and reinforced the larger story about a downtrodden people in a totalitarian state. Karl Ove Knausgaard, New York Times, "A Literary Road Trip Into the Heart of Russia," 14 Feb. 2018 Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski is known for revitalizing the once downtrodden city. Aubrey Nagle,, "Philly celebrates MLK Day, DACA deal up in the air, Eagles face Vikings Sunday | Morning Newsletter," 15 Jan. 2018 Fifteen months on the job, Hopkins reflects on resurrecting a downtrodden UW basketball program. Percy Allen, The Seattle Times, "What does Mike Hopkins and the UW Huskies have in store for an encore?," 24 July 2018 But this Rust Belt city — with the help of developers and state tax dollars — is in the midst of revitalization, with its once-downtrodden downtown now a Neighborhood Improvement Zone that won an international award for land use., "In Allentown, a mayor's federal corruption trial casts pall over revitalizing city," 15 Jan. 2018 Construction crews are busy at work on the waterfront in this downtrodden city, where $1.6 billion in corporate tax breaks and the advocacy of one of New Jersey’s most formidable power brokers have fueled a development boom. Kate King, WSJ, "The Power Broker Behind Camden, N.J.’s Upswing," 9 July 2018 Sanders helped the long downtrodden Falcons to the playoffs in 1991 playing alongside corner Tim McKyer and safety Brian Jordan. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "As Seahawks' Legion of Boom disbands, is it time to anoint it NFL's greatest secondary?," 3 July 2018 Restorers moved into downtrodden neighborhoods and resurrected the Victorians. Steve Carney,, "Architecture Spotlight: Victorian is a stately, though needy, grande dame," 16 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'downtrodden.' 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 downtrodden

1595, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about downtrodden

Statistics for downtrodden

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for downtrodden

The first known use of downtrodden was in 1595

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for downtrodden



English Language Learners Definition of downtrodden

somewhat formal : without hope because of being treated badly by powerful people, governments, etc.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on downtrodden

What made you want to look up downtrodden? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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