repress

1 of 2

verb (1)

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

transitive verb

1
a
: to check by or as if by pressure : curb
injustice was repressed
b
: to put down by force : subdue
repress a disturbance
2
a
: 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
repressibility noun
repressible adjective
repressive adjective
repressively adverb
repressiveness noun

re-press

2 of 2

verb (2)

re-pressed; re-pressing; re-presses

transitive verb

: to press again
re-press a record

Example Sentences

Verb (1) Religious groups were severely repressed. quickly repressed the rebellion in the provincial city and restored order
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Younger LGBTQ Southerners, those ages 18-24, were also more likely to report that a caregiver tried to change or repress their identity (64.4%) compared to those 25 and older (51.1%). Jo Yurcaba, NBC News, 2 Sep. 2022 Online, public outrage over apparent delays in the official release of information – and the silencing of whistleblowers – lit up social media faster than the censors could repress it. Simone Mccarthy, CNN, 20 Oct. 2022 There is only so much wiggle room in a 17th-century interpretation in which scheming ritualists and elite materialists repress the pure of heart while subjecting the purest of all, God’s son, to torture and judicial murder. Dominic Green, WSJ, 12 Sep. 2022 Beijing views civil society — the life of the Chinese apart from the dominance of the party — as a threat to its rule and moves to repress it. Dexter Roberts, Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2022 Iranians have reported widespread internet blackouts after the country blocked access to Instagram and WhatsApp and shut off internet entirely in portions of Tehran and Kurdistan in an attempt to repress growing dissent, the Guardian reported. Summer Linstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 22 Sep. 2022 In fearful anticipation of being silenced, denied publication, or fired from jobs, some people will repress their own ideas. Sarah Schulman, The New Republic, 26 Aug. 2022 Two years is not enough time to undo the impact of centuries of policies and societal norms designed to repress Black Americans. Jared Council, Forbes, 23 May 2022 Meanwhile, our governments are taking anti-democratic measures to repress their own citizens’ nonviolent campaigns of pressure aimed at holding Israel, and the companies and institutions that are complicit in its system of oppression, to account. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 May 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Verb (1)

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

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near repress

Cite this Entry

“Repress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/repress. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

repress

verb

re·​press ri-ˈpres How to pronounce repress (audio)
1
a
: to check by or as if by pressure
injustice was repressed
b
: to put down by force : subdue
2
a
: to hold in by self-control
repressed a laugh
b
: to prevent the natural or normal expression, activity, or development of
repress one's anger
3
: to shut out of consciousness
repressed a painful past
repressible adjective
repressive adjective

Medical Definition

repress

transitive verb

re·​press ri-ˈpres How to pronounce repress (audio)
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

More from Merriam-Webster on repress

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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