oppress

verb
op·​press | \ ə-ˈpres How to pronounce oppress (audio) \
oppressed; oppressing; oppresses

Definition of oppress

transitive verb

1a : to crush or burden by abuse of power or authority The country has long been oppressed by a ruthless dictator. oppressed minorities
b archaic : suppress
2 : to burden spiritually or mentally : weigh heavily upon oppressed by a sense of failure oppress by intolerable guilt

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Other Words from oppress

oppressor \ ə-​ˈpre-​sər How to pronounce oppress (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for oppress

wrong, oppress, persecute, aggrieve mean to injure unjustly or outrageously. wrong implies inflicting injury either unmerited or out of proportion to what one deserves. a penal system that had wronged him oppress suggests inhumane imposing of burdens one cannot endure or exacting more than one can perform. a people oppressed by a warmongering tyrant persecute implies a relentless and unremitting subjection to annoyance or suffering. a child persecuted by constant criticism aggrieve implies suffering caused by an infringement or denial of rights. a legal aid society representing aggrieved minority groups

Examples of oppress in a Sentence

The country has long been oppressed by a ruthless dictator. They condemned attempts by the government to oppress its citizens. people who have traditionally been oppressed by society
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Recent Examples on the Web The systems that oppress us— global capitalism for example, white supremacy, for example— don’t stop in a particular nation-state. Malaika Jabali, Essence, 11 June 2021 Throughout the years, America has often wielded its power to oppress others — from forcibly removing Native Americans to prohibiting Chinese people from immigrating to the U.S. Hunter Johnson, Forbes, 25 May 2021 Race, according to this view, is a relatively recent social construct that is weaponized by dominant groups to oppress others. Sam Dorman, Fox News, 14 May 2021 What's more, global activists have repeatedly noted since Trump's ban early this year that Facebook was inconsistent or slow in applying its own standards in some countries that oppress their citizens or where the government instigates violence. Kara Alaimo, CNN, 5 May 2021 Some progressives are even arguing to condition aid to Israel over the Sheikh Jarrah issue, suggesting that U.S. aid to Israel is being used to oppress Palestinian Arabs. Erielle Davidson, National Review, 12 May 2021 And this whole voter-suppression issue is about fighting against those who would oppress people of color, the poor, people who are struggling to make it in life. David Crary, Star Tribune, 18 Apr. 2021 Craven’s strict schedule, a measured pace from morning till night, doesn’t oppress her. BostonGlobe.com, 12 Apr. 2021 The song paints in devastating detail the period of lynching carried out against Black Americans for decades after the abolition of slavery, often as a way to terrorize and oppress those who sought racial equality. The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Mar. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for oppress

Middle English oppressen "to put pressure on, crush, burden, overwhelm," borrowed from Anglo-French oppresser, borrowed from Medieval Latin oppressāre, frequentative derivative from Latin oppressus, past participle of opprimere "to press on, stifle, overpower," from ob- ob- + premere "to press" — more at press entry 2

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Time Traveler for oppress

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for oppress

Last Updated

20 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Oppress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oppress. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for oppress

oppress

verb

English Language Learners Definition of oppress

: to treat (a person or group of people) in a cruel or unfair way
: to make (someone) feel sad or worried for a long period of time

oppress

verb
op·​press | \ ə-ˈpres How to pronounce oppress (audio) \
oppressed; oppressing

Kids Definition of oppress

1 : to control or rule in a harsh or cruel way The cruel ruler oppressed his people.
2 : to cause to feel burdened in spirit Grief oppressed the survivors.

Other Words from oppress

oppressor \ -​ˈpre-​sər \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on oppress

Nglish: Translation of oppress for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oppress for Arabic Speakers

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