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

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 Now, Gonzales sings about freedom from oppression and empowerment for women. Laura Mcknight, NOLA.com, "2 teens wounded in Little Woods shooting Friday night: NOPD," 28 Apr. 2018 This small effort is taking place without a larger strategy to address systemic oppression in black areas. Luke Broadwater, baltimoresun.com, "In Baltimore's high-crime zones, an experiment in government starts to yield results," 11 Apr. 2018 Then, America invented a system of Jim Crow laws that codified racial discrimination as an official system of oppression. Solomon Jones, Philly.com, "Not everyone in America is free this Fourth of July | Solomon Jones," 3 July 2018 To put one’s hope in Jesus, then, is to believe despite all the evidence to the contrary Jesus’ way of peace, justice, mercy and compassion will ultimately prevail over the empire’s ways of violence, exploitation, oppression and fear. Rachel Held Evans, Washington Post, "The Bible is literature for the resistance," 12 July 2018 Serena once gave him that, but Gilead's continued oppression and June's influence has changed her. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2 finale recap: The fight finally begins," 11 July 2018 Then came oppression and violence, resistance and resilience, and historical oblivion. Randy Dotinga, The Christian Science Monitor, "'The Bone and Sinew of the Land' restores a lost chapter of US history," 25 June 2018 But our sessions took a weird turn when some of my anxiety about my income and struggle with friends and family intersected with racial oppression and microaggressions. Jacy Topps, Glamour, "Why I'll Be Choosing My Next Therapist by Race," 30 May 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

12 Nov 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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