repress

verb (1)
re·​press | \ ri-ˈpres How to pronounce repress (audio) \
repressed; repressing; represses

Definition of repress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to check by or as if by pressure : curb injustice was repressed
b : to put down by force : subdue repress a disturbance
2a : to hold in by self-control repressed a laugh
b : to prevent the natural or normal expression, activity, or development of repressed her anger
3 : to exclude from consciousness repressed the memory of abuse
4 : to inactivate (a gene or formation of a gene product) by allosteric combination at a DNA binding site

intransitive verb

: to take repressive action

re-press

verb (2)
\ (ˌ)rē-ˈpres How to pronounce re-press (audio) \
re-pressed; re-pressing; re-presses

Definition of re-press (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to press again re-press a record

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Other Words from repress

Verb (1)

repressibility \ ri-​ˌpre-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce repressibility (audio) \ noun
repressible \ ri-​ˈpre-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce repressible (audio) \ adjective
repressive \ ri-​ˈpre-​siv How to pronounce repressive (audio) \ adjective
repressively adverb
repressiveness noun

Examples of repress in a Sentence

Verb (1)

Religious groups were severely repressed. quickly repressed the rebellion in the provincial city and restored order

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The shadows of this authoritarian agenda, designed to exploit, disenfranchise, and repress non-white lives, still loom heavily over the country and global perceptions of it. Cassidy George, Vogue, "Meet Thebe Magugu, the Designer at the Heart of South Africa’s Cultural Renaissance," 20 May 2019 These societal reactions force women to repress feelings of disappointment and in many cases cause women to have a huge amount of guilt and anxiety for even having them. Jackie Goldschneider, Good Housekeeping, "I Cried When I Found Out I Was Having Boys," 5 Apr. 2019 Founded by the father of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Mr. Ince’s party repressed Kurdish identity in its early years. David Gauthier-villars, WSJ, "Erdogan Challengers Struggle for Attention in Turkey Campaign," 11 June 2018 There’s no evidence that Yiannopoulos’s no-platforming led to his ideas and personality gaining a kind of underground popularity, as some free speech advocates believe happens when speech is repressed. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook’s morale problem is getting worse," 6 Dec. 2018 The first protests, violently repressed by the Cameroonian armed forces, broke out two years ago. Joe Parkinson, WSJ, "Can’t Find Cameroon’s President? Try Geneva’s Intercontinental Hotel," 4 Nov. 2018 There’s no evidence that Yiannopoulos’s no-platforming led to his ideas and personality gaining a kind of underground popularity, as some free speech advocates believe happens when speech is repressed. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook’s morale problem is getting worse," 6 Dec. 2018 There’s no evidence that Yiannopoulos’s no-platforming led to his ideas and personality gaining a kind of underground popularity, as some free speech advocates believe happens when speech is repressed. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook’s morale problem is getting worse," 6 Dec. 2018 Papa’s memories, long repressed, begin to come to the surface. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Walking Through the Past Into New Motherhood," 10 Apr. 2018

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

Verb (1)

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

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for repress

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French represser, from Latin repressus, past participle of reprimere to check, from re- + premere to press — more at press

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Statistics for repress

Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for repress

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

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More Definitions for repress

repress

verb

English Language Learners Definition of repress

: to not allow yourself to do or express (something)
: to not allow yourself to remember (something, such as an unpleasant event)
: to control (someone or something) by force

repress

verb
re·​press | \ ri-ˈpres How to pronounce repress (audio) \
repressed; repressing

Kids Definition of repress

: to hold in check by or as if by pressure On seeing his haircut, I had to repress a laugh.

repress

transitive verb
re·​press | \ ri-ˈpres How to pronounce repress (audio) \

Medical Definition of repress

1 : to exclude from consciousness repress conflicts
2 : to inactivate (a gene or formation of a gene product) by allosteric combination at a DNA binding site

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More from Merriam-Webster on repress

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with repress

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for repress

Spanish Central: Translation of repress

Nglish: Translation of repress for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of repress for Arabic Speakers

Comments on repress

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