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 Colonizers used that same charge of devil-worshipping, Federici continues, to enforce strict gender norms on Peruvian natives, which allowed colonizers to humiliate and oppress them. Sofia Quaglia, Quartz, "Women are invoking the witch to find their power in a patriarchal society," 31 Oct. 2019 Identify and fight past whatever is oppressing you. Sølve Sundsbø; Fashion Editor: Patrick Mackie, Harper's BAZAAR, "Angelina Jolie on Her Parenting Style, Being Unpopular in School, and Dealing with Her Emotional Scars," 5 Nov. 2019 That was a really big part of the reason for his drive, this collective of people who lifted the voices of a community that was marginalized and oppressed for so many years. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Ralph Cordova, pivotal in the Phoenix arts scene, is dead at 61," 12 Oct. 2019 The hopeless cycle of debt that oppresses people and nations alike is not a law of nature. Charles Eisenstein, Quartz, "How a game of musical chairs can help explain our broken economy," 27 Aug. 2019 Is this a confession of privilege guilt? Guilt at her complicity in the systems that oppressed the homeless man who stabbed her? Leslie Jamison, Harper's magazine, "Baggage Claims," 19 Aug. 2019 Although there’s a hint, in what the journalist says about union organizers and teachers, that Jerry’s side has helped oppress. Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker, "George Saunders on the Induced Bafflement of Fiction," 12 Aug. 2019 Roger Holder would later insist that his experience in Coos Bay showed him that black people in the U.S. were oppressed, taking him down the path that led to Western Airlines Flight 701. oregonlive, "How Coos Bay’s ‘All-American girl’ became a daring skyjacker, then disappeared into 1970s underground," 16 Sep. 2019 The constitutional safeguards the Founders wrote into their document were intended to limit the power, in the nascent democracy, of might to oppress right. Mike Potemra, National Review, "Born on the Fourth of July," 4 July 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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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

11 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Oppress.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oppress?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=o&file=oppres01. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for oppress

oppress

verb
How to pronounce oppress (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for oppress

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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