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 oppressor (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

Both increase during heat waves—like the one oppressing Miami at the moment. Amy Westervelt, The New Republic, "Jay Inslee Would Like Your Attention, Please," 26 June 2019 The administration regards the government of Venezuela’s leader, Nicolas Maduro, as a dictatorship that oppresses its people. David Lauter, latimes.com, "On abortion, Joe Biden decides it’s better to switch than fight," 7 June 2019 But the narrator hasn’t come to understand his own position in the systems that are oppressing. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Political Punk Rock That Protests Its Own Singer," 21 June 2019 People have been and continue to be shunned, killed, oppressed, harassed, ridiculed with that type of mentality. Cicero Estrella, The Mercury News, "Pride flags stolen, replaced with Christian flags in San Jose neighborhood," 18 June 2019 It was built to oppress, it was built to control, it was built to shape our culture in a specific way that kept some people here and some people here. Essence, "Ava DuVernay Says People Should ‘Be Held Accountable’ For Central Park Five Case," 10 June 2019 The state received a waiver in the 1970s to set its own standards due to oppressing smog and has maintained tight regulations as a means to fight climate change. Washington Post, "Automakers urge California, US to restart mileage talks," 6 June 2019 Meanwhile, Rush repeatedly warned that royal ministers were intent upon oppressing all Americans. Stephen Brumwell, WSJ, "‘Rush’ and ‘Dr. Benjamin Rush’ Review: American Hippocrates," 20 Sep. 2018 Attempting to use her name in a racially derogatory manner exacerbates a mounting litany of genocidal devices used to erase, oppress, and exterminate American Indians. Ruth Hopkins, Teen Vogue, "Sacagawea Changed the Course of History and Deserves Respect," 11 Jan. 2019

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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Statistics for oppress

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oppress

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on oppress

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with oppress

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for oppress

Spanish Central: Translation of oppress

Nglish: Translation of oppress for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oppress for Arabic Speakers

Comments on oppress

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