oppression

noun
op·​pres·​sion | \ ə-ˈpre-shən How to pronounce oppression (audio) \

Definition of oppression

1a : unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power the continuing oppression of the … underclasses— H. A. Daniels
b : something that oppresses especially in being an unjust or excessive exercise of power unfair taxes and other oppressions
2 : a sense of being weighed down in body or mind : depression an oppression of spirits

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Examples of oppression in a Sentence

suffered a lingering oppression in the weeks after his dog died

Recent Examples on the Web

However, after 37 years in power, refusing to step down, that legacy became entwined with violent oppression toward his opponents, which led to him being ousted in a military coup in 2017. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe Dead At 95," 6 Sep. 2019 Attuned to the gravitas of the piece, Diego Romero’s sultry black-and-white cinematography lends pensive beauty to this vehement dissection of deeply rooted oppression. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?’ relays African American anger," 5 Sep. 2019 With surgical clarity, Atwood documents how the stripping of fundamental freedoms, the weight of systemic oppression, pushes individuals to extremes. David Canfield, EW.com, "The Handmaid's Tale," 3 Sep. 2019 Keret said his father fought to humanize and historicize the Holocaust, to see it as more than a story of unmitigated oppression. Gal Beckerman, New York Times, "If Kafka Were Israeli and Wrote About Talking Goldfish," 30 Aug. 2019 Kurdish people have long faced state oppression there, too, but took over large swaths of northern Syria during its civil war. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Today, the Kurds are spread across four nations. Who are they?," 16 Aug. 2019 If oppression was no longer by actual ownership or actual violence, then language could be used to do the job with some efficiency. The Economist, "Obituary: Toni Morrison died on August 5th," 15 Aug. 2019 Reparations to African Americans for slavery, and the systemic oppression that followed, is now the stuff of congressional hearings and Democratic presidential debates. Charles Lane, Twin Cities, "Charles Lane: Would reparations for slavery be constitutional?," 14 Aug. 2019 Viskhan sees the crackdowns as part of wider oppression that has taken root in recent years. Katy Steinmetz, Time, "A Victim of the Anti-Gay Purge in Chechnya Speaks Out: 'The Truth Exists'," 26 July 2019

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

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

History and Etymology for oppression

Middle English oppressioun, borrowed from Anglo-French oppression, borrowed from Latin oppressiōn-, oppressiō "action of pressing on or overpowering," from oppres- or *oppret-, variant stem of opprimere "to press on, stifle, overpower" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at oppress

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Statistics for oppression

Last Updated

15 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oppression

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

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More Definitions for oppression

oppression

noun
op·​pres·​sion | \ ə-ˈpre-shən How to pronounce oppression (audio) \

Kids Definition of oppression

: cruel or unjust use of power or authority

oppression

noun
op·​pres·​sion | \ ə-ˈpre-shən How to pronounce oppression (audio) \

Legal Definition of oppression

: an unjust or excessive exercise of power: as
a : unlawful, wrongful, or corrupt exercise of authority by a public official acting under color of authority that causes a person harm
b : dishonest, unfair, wrongful, or burdensome conduct by corporate directors or majority shareholders that entitles minority shareholders to compel involuntary dissolution of the corporation
c : inequality of bargaining power resulting in one party's lack of ability to negotiate or exercise meaningful choice — see also unconscionability

Other Words from oppression

oppressive \ ə-​ˈpre-​siv How to pronounce oppressive (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on oppression

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