oppress

verb
op·​press | \ə-ˈpres \
oppressed; oppressing; oppresses

Definition of oppress 

transitive verb

1a archaic : suppress

b : to crush or burden by abuse of power or authority The country has long been oppressed by a ruthless dictator. oppressed minorities

2 : to burden spiritually or mentally : weigh heavily upon oppressed by a sense of failure oppress by intolerable guilt

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Other Words from oppress

oppressor \ ə-​ˈpre-​sər \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for oppress

wrong, oppress, persecute, aggrieve mean to injure unjustly or outrageously. wrong implies inflicting injury either unmerited or out of proportion to what one deserves. a penal system that had wronged him oppress suggests inhumane imposing of burdens one cannot endure or exacting more than one can perform. a people oppressed by a warmongering tyrant persecute implies a relentless and unremitting subjection to annoyance or suffering. a child persecuted by constant criticism aggrieve implies suffering caused by an infringement or denial of rights. a legal aid society representing aggrieved minority groups

Examples of oppress in a Sentence

The country has long been oppressed by a ruthless dictator. They condemned attempts by the government to oppress its citizens. people who have traditionally been oppressed by society
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Recent Examples on the Web

Lot18’s website warned about a wine named for a character who, while oppressed by the system, has also used and supported it to oppress women around her. Karen Han, Vox, "Creepy Handmaid’s Tale wine announced, canceled within 24 hours," 11 July 2018 But the oppressor sees every victory by the oppressed as the final concession. Jerry Brewer, chicagotribune.com, "In a time of chaos, 1968 was a breakout year for black athletes," 28 May 2018 But the oppressor sees every victory by the oppressed as the final concession. Jerry Brewer, Washington Post, "In a time of chaos, a breakout year for black athletes," 28 May 2018 Yet from the Palestinian and Arab point of view, this vast Jewish apparatus supporting Israel is a cultural, political, and economic lifeline to a state that’s vicious oppressing their people. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "I’m an American Jew who abhors Israel’s violence. I still can’t boycott Israel.," 15 May 2018 Until the world stops erasing/oppressing/murdering us, trans women play trans women, trans men play trans men, nonbinary people play NB people. Nina Metz, chicagotribune.com, "Why trans actors should be cast in trans roles," 12 July 2018 Their separate narrative arcs all tie in with the finale’s main thread of Gilead’s oppressed finally pushing back against their oppressors. Lorraine Ali, latimes.com, "Review: 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2 finale sets up a compelling new direction for the series," 11 July 2018 This would be a good compromise between allowing police to be present while also allowing minorities consistently oppressed by the police to feel safe. Devlyn Camp, Chicago Reader, "Perspective / News / LGBTQ+ Pride double standard? Bars upset after police forced some to close early after parade," 29 June 2018 Now state and city governments are free to impose burdens that crush distant small businesses and there will be no political accountability—because the tax collectors will be oppressing people with no representation in the abusive jurisdiction. James Freeman, WSJ, "When Will Washington Stop Helping Amazon?," 22 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for oppress

Middle English oppressen "to put pressure on, crush, burden, overwhelm," borrowed from Anglo-French oppresser, borrowed from Medieval Latin oppressāre, frequentative derivative from Latin oppressus, past participle of opprimere "to press on, stifle, overpower," from ob- ob- + premere "to press" — more at press entry 2

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Statistics for oppress

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oppress

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

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More Definitions for oppress

oppress

verb

English Language Learners Definition of oppress

: to treat (a person or group of people) in a cruel or unfair way

: to make (someone) feel sad or worried for a long period of time

oppress

verb
op·​press | \ə-ˈpres \
oppressed; oppressing

Kids Definition of oppress

1 : to control or rule in a harsh or cruel way The cruel ruler oppressed his people.

2 : to cause to feel burdened in spirit Grief oppressed the survivors.

Other Words from oppress

oppressor \ -​ˈpre-​sər \ noun

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Comments on oppress

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