oppression

noun
op·​pres·​sion | \ə-ˈpre-shən \

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

Laureano’s and Frazier’s dedication to allowing both survivors and those who have hurt them to stay in the same community is rooted in the fact that those who perpetrate harm frequently act out of systemic oppression. Kim Tran, Teen Vogue, "Transformative Justice, Explained," 15 Nov. 2018 The idea is to work the lyrics out of you like an emotion welling up in the heart, like a situation that needs fixing, like a journey with oppression on the back end and hope on the front end. Tyrone Beason / Columnist, The Seattle Times, "Total Experience Gospel Choir’s last days: Pat Wright built legacy with gusto of a freedom fighter," 1 Oct. 2018 There is a history where there is oppression, obviously, slavery and segregation and so forth, but that is gone. Fox News, "Author Shelby Steele on race relations, equality in America," 16 July 2018 The actor, who raised his voice in Ferguson and Flint and who delivered a searing indictment of police brutality and racial oppression at the BET Awards, is unapologetic about using his star power to fight racial injustice. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "'Grey's Anatomy' star Jesse Williams has message for Silicon Valley: Stop excluding black people," 18 May 2018 This is about systemic oppression that has been rampant in this country for decades on top of decades. Rick Maese, chicagotribune.com, "Eric Reid charges NFL owners with collusion in grievance," 2 May 2018 This liberated hundreds of millions of people in two dozen nations from oppression. Otto Reich, WSJ, "The Day the Evil Empire Retreated," 24 Oct. 2018 To wit: The world’s countries have long been trapped in a corrupt struggle for finite resources that has carried untold colonialist oppression and ecological ruin in its wake. David Roberts, Vox, "Putting a dollar value on one of oil’s biggest subsidies: military protection," 21 Sep. 2018 That zeal for justice will continue to permeate her artistic work; her videos in particular create worlds of both oppression and rebellion. Sean Knight, Glamour, "Janelle Monáe Knows She Has Your Attention. Get Ready for What's Next.," 5 Nov. 2018

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

10 Dec 2018

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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 \

Kids Definition of oppression

: cruel or unjust use of power or authority

oppression

noun
op·​pres·​sion | \ə-ˈpre-shən \

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 \ adjective

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