oppressive

adjective
op·​pres·​sive | \ ə-ˈpre-siv How to pronounce oppressive (audio) \

Definition of oppressive

1 : unreasonably burdensome or severe oppressive legislation oppressive taxes the oppressive power of corporations and Wall Street— Jim Hightower
2 : tyrannical an oppressive government
3 : overwhelming or depressing to the spirit or senses an oppressive climate the dusty drabness that was oppressive in its uneventfulness— Geoffrey Moorhouse

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Other Words from oppressive

oppressively adverb
oppressiveness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for oppressive

onerous, burdensome, oppressive, exacting mean imposing hardship. onerous stresses being laborious and heavy especially because distasteful. the onerous task of cleaning up the mess burdensome suggests causing mental as well as physical strain. burdensome responsibilities oppressive implies extreme harshness or severity in what is imposed. the oppressive tyranny of a police state exacting implies rigor or sternness rather than tyranny or injustice in the demands made or in the one demanding. an exacting employer

Examples of oppressive in a Sentence

The country is ruled by an oppressive regime. I think these laws are oppressive. This region suffers from oppressive heat in the summer months. The situation was extremely tense; no one said a word, and the silence was oppressive.
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Recent Examples on the Web An arbitration provision is procedurally oppressive when the weaker party has no power to negotiate over it and no meaningful choice about whether to accept it. Dan Eaton, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Why otherwise defective arbitration agreements may be enforced against high-ranking executives," 19 Aug. 2019 Many protestors held signs asking Amazon to learn from Jewish history and break ties with oppressive forces. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Hundreds protest at Amazon store in Manhattan against company's ICE involvement," 12 Aug. 2019 Catholicism, for its part, can be just as oppressive as fundamentalist Christianity. Katy Hershberger, Longreads, "Losing My Religion at Christian Camp," 8 Aug. 2019 The addition of a grueling MLS travel schedule and oppressive Florida heat further challenged the veteran. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Nani praises growth of Orlando City as the captain flourishes in final stretch of season," 17 Sep. 2019 What is one supposed to think when a candidate spends their time raising money from plutocrats who siphon their profits straight from the pump of oppressive inequality? Libby Watson, The New Republic, "Hypocrite Accuses Elizabeth Warren of Hypocrisy," 12 Sep. 2019 But college, a big city, and a gaggle of gays made throwing the oppressive weight of the closet away a celebration. Joelle Monique, The Hollywood Reporter, "How 'It: Chapter Two' Leaves Richie Tozier Behind," 7 Sep. 2019 The three hour flight involved swapping Faustian bargains: cool alpine breezes and blocked Internet access at one end versus oppressive humidity and unrestricted Internet access at the other. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "China’s Struggles," 7 Sep. 2019 Late last week, that extra humid air combined with maximum afternoon temperatures well into the 90s, making for an oppressive mix. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, ""Corn sweat" makes heat wave even more dangerous," 22 July 2019

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

circa 1677, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for oppressive

borrowed from Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French oppressif, borrowed from Medieval Latin oppressīvus, from Latin oppressus, past participle of opprimere "to press on, stifle, overpower" + -īvus -ive — more at oppress

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Statistics for oppressive

Last Updated

30 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for oppressive

The first known use of oppressive was circa 1677

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More Definitions for oppressive

oppressive

adjective
How to pronounce oppressive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of oppressive

: very cruel or unfair
: very unpleasant or uncomfortable

oppressive

adjective
op·​pres·​sive | \ ə-ˈpre-siv How to pronounce oppressive (audio) \

Kids Definition of oppressive

1 : cruel or harsh without just cause oppressive laws
2 : very unpleasant or uncomfortable oppressive heat

Other Words from oppressive

oppressively adverb

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Comments on oppressive

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