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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of oppression in a Sentence

suffered a lingering oppression in the weeks after his dog died

Recent Examples on the Web

Giving the Chinese government ready access to user data, as required by Chinese law, would make Google complicit in oppression and human rights abuses. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Google employees push to cancel Chinese search engine in new letter," 27 Nov. 2018 The allegations include felony claims of tampering with a governmental record over a false entry for leave and theft by a public servant, as well as the Class A misdemeanor charges of official oppression. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "4 current and former juvenile prison employees arrested following Texas Rangers investigation," 1 Feb. 2018 Walters is one of hundreds of women around the globe currently facing oppression, persecution, violence—even murder and assassination—for defending the environment. Sarah Hurtes, Harper's BAZAAR, "Women Who Risk Everything to Defend the Environment," 30 Nov. 2018 Rohingya families refused to return without a guarantee of basic rights and an end to systematic oppression. Niharika Mandhana, WSJ, "‘All Our Lives They Wanted to Ruin Us.’ For Decades, Myanmar Sought to Drive Out Rohingya," 23 Nov. 2018 Speaking to a crowd that came to witness what many have called a historic moment, Barrow called on Gambians to stand together and say never again would a few people subject the country to oppression. Abdoulie John, The Seattle Times, "‘Dark days’ over: Gambia launches truth, reconciliation body," 15 Oct. 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about oppression

Share oppression

Statistics for oppression

Last Updated

8 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oppression

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on oppression

What made you want to look up oppression? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!