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

Historically, these racial groups have faced more oppression and have endured more setbacks than white people — making it even harder to build wealth. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "Equal Pay Day Messaging Disregards Women of Color," 2 Apr. 2019 June 24 Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving is lifted, removing a symbol of women’s oppression in the kingdom. WSJ, "Opening Up and Cracking Down," 20 Nov. 2018 For many Palestinians, the knowledge that Israeli authorities are tracking their social-media activities is seen as just another level of oppression and restriction in an intractable, decades-old conflict. Ruth Eglash, Washington Post, "Israel says that monitoring social media has cut ‘lone wolf’ attacks. Palestinians are crying foul.," 9 July 2018 The genius of the picture is that even its wildest, most boundary-pushing formulations are tied to a thoughtful, rigorous thesis about how disparities of race, class and money conspire to keep ruthless systems of human oppression in place. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Review: Boots Riley's 'Sorry to Bother You' is an arrestingly surreal satire on class rage and cultural identity," 5 July 2018 Our city has long stood as a welcoming city – a place of safety and kindness for those fleeing violence and oppression in their homelands. Gina Martinez, Time, "Girl, 3, Dies After Idaho Mass Stabbing as Police Reveal Victims Were From Syria, Ethiopia and Iraq," 2 July 2018 The constant work, innovation, and leadership of friends and comrades targeted by multiple forms of oppression in fighting for lives, love, and freedom. NBC News, "#RedefineAtoZ: Lydia X. Z. Brown, autistic activist, is 'fighting oppression in all its forms'," 1 May 2018 Many residents know that amid that flow are goods and people who cross illicitly, some to do harm but many hoping to escape violence, poverty and oppression, as some of these residents' know their ancestors may have done. NBC News, "In South Texas, Trump immigration policies cut into the fabric of border culture," 7 July 2018 In the face of overwhelming oppression, even the hopes June fabricates are better than no hope at all. Rena Gross, Billboard, "11 Highlights -- Including Oprah -- From 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2, Episode 11 'Holly'," 27 June 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

16 Apr 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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