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

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 The parallels between King’s efforts and Africans’ quest for independence were perhaps strongest in apartheid-era South Africa, where racist laws oppressed the majority black community for decades. Washington Post, "Martin Luther King Jr.’s work still resonates across Africa," 2 Apr. 2018 For the left, that reframed Zionism from a story of Jews fighting for a home into another Western effort to oppress a Third World people. Elliot Kaufman, WSJ, "World Socialism’s Anti-Israel Turn," 22 July 2018 Our revolution's aim wasn't to support dirty [Hezbollah leader] Hassan Nasrallah and we can be oppressed here. Greg Norman, Fox News, "Iran crowds reportedly chant 'death to the dictator!' as US sanctions increase economic unrest," 7 Aug. 2018 Human rights violations against Black and Brown people inherently work to uphold structures that further oppress us for the benefit of the privileged. Eva Lewis, Teen Vogue, "I Traveled to Paris to Advocate for Human Rights in Chicago's South Side," 27 Nov. 2018 For a moment, all of America seemed to be talking about the Kurds, a stateless people of 40 million, who have long been oppressed in the Middle East and ignored abroad. Majeed Gly, WSJ, "A Word From Mr. Kurd," 1 Oct. 2018 Lot18’s website warned about a wine named for a character who, while oppressed by the system, has also used and supported it to oppress women around her. Karen Han, Vox, "Creepy Handmaid’s Tale wine announced, canceled within 24 hours," 11 July 2018 But the oppressor sees every victory by the oppressed as the final concession. Jerry Brewer, chicagotribune.com, "In a time of chaos, 1968 was a breakout year for black athletes," 28 May 2018

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

23 Apr 2019

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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

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