repression

noun

re·​pres·​sion ri-ˈpre-shən How to pronounce repression (audio)
1
a
: the action or process of repressing : the state of being repressed
repression of unpopular opinions
b
: an instance of repressing
racial repressions
2
a
: a mental process by which distressing thoughts, memories, or impulses that may give rise to anxiety are excluded from consciousness and left to operate in the unconscious
b
: an item so excluded
repressionist adjective

Examples of repression in a Sentence

the state's repression of its citizens They survived 60 years of political repression.
Recent Examples on the Web Crackdown on Protests: U.N. investigators said that the Iranian authorities killed, tortured and raped many in their brutal repression of protests that erupted over the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, a young woman who was arrested for allegedly wearing her hijab incorrectly. Ronen Bergman, New York Times, 5 Apr. 2024 The expectation for Bukele’s second term is that repression and criminalization will only increase. Danielle MacKey, The New Yorker, 5 Apr. 2024 In 2020, hundreds of Chileans were maimed during the violent repression of former president, the billionaire Sebastián Piñera, who recently died while piloting his helicopter, triggering a national wave of schadenfreude. Richard Villegas, Rolling Stone, 1 Apr. 2024 Despite this atmosphere of repression in which mass protests are all but impossible, just before his death Navalny called for people to gather at polling stations on Sunday at noon in a show of dissent. Yuliya Talmazan, NBC News, 18 Mar. 2024 Others have fled because of political repression and the economic impacts of the war, said Russian Helena Yaw, who moved to Florianopolis with her husband in 2019 and was recently joined by her brother. Lucinda Elliott and Miguel Lo Bianco, The Christian Science Monitor, 18 Mar. 2024 The Kremlin has treated Navalny’s death as a nonevent, although tens of thousands in Moscow and other cities, overcoming fear of repression, expressed their grief in public and chanted Navalny’s name. Michael Kimmage, Foreign Affairs, 13 Mar. 2024 The backlash by authorities toward peaceful protesters was marked by violent repression and arbitrary arrests, according to groups like Amnesty International and the United Nations. Megan Janetsky, Victor R. Caivano and Rodrigo Abd, Quartz, 13 Mar. 2024 Two decades of state repression have not denied this new wave of anger its bloody agency. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, 23 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'repression.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of repression was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near repression

Cite this Entry

“Repression.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/repression. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

repression

noun
re·​pres·​sion ri-ˈpresh-ən How to pronounce repression (audio)
1
: the act of repressing : the state of being repressed
2
: a process of the mind by which painful or disturbing thoughts or desires are kept from conscious awareness

Medical Definition

repression

noun
re·​pres·​sion ri-ˈpresh-ən How to pronounce repression (audio)
1
: the action or process of repressing
gene repression
2
a
: a process by which unacceptable desires or impulses are excluded from consciousness and left to operate in the unconscious compare suppression sense c
b
: an item so excluded

More from Merriam-Webster on repression

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