repression

noun
re·​pres·​sion | \ ri-ˈpre-shən How to pronounce repression (audio) \

Definition of repression

1a : the action or process of repressing : the state of being repressed repression of unpopular opinions
b : an instance of repressing racial repressions
2a : 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

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Other Words from repression

repressionist \ ri-​ˈpre-​sh(ə-​)nist How to pronounce repressionist (audio) \ 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

Yes, all this violent catharsis is completely demented — but that’s a byproduct of the process of repression and release that the film explores, especially with regard to the pressures placed directly on the body through dance. Aja Romano, Vox, "How Suspiria turns the color red into a plot point," 9 Nov. 2018 The government has allowed the entry of international bodies like the U.N., and accepted recommendations on stopping police repression and dismantling gangs. Vivienne Walt, Time, "Meet 4 Crusaders Who Are Keeping the Dream of Democracy Alive," 12 July 2018 Susceptibility to conspiracy theories, a legacy of Soviet repression, is still visible in Hungary. William Galston, The New Republic, "How Hungary explains Europe’s retreat from democracy," 17 May 2018 The new generation does not know war, though their parents and grandparents struggle to reconcile their memories and loyalty to the revolution with anger over what has been harsh repression against their children. Washington Post, "Nicaraguan students enraged at repression turn on government," 15 May 2018 The report released Wednesday by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights described repression that stretched from the streets to courtrooms, where some protesters face terrorism charges. Luis Manuel Galeano, Fox News, "Nicaragua to expel UN team after critical report," 31 Aug. 2018 These outside groups aim to combat the reported repression against organizers on the inside that apparently has already begun, according to organizers. Stephanie Onderchanin, Teen Vogue, "How the National Prison Strike Is Working to Help Incarcerated People in the United States," 21 Aug. 2018 After the end of the second World War, Franco gradually began to relent in his repression of Catalan culture. Kate Keller, Smithsonian, "Beyond the Headlines, Catalan Culture Has a Long History of Vibrancy and Staying Power," 25 June 2018 If the evictions in Beijing are any guide, the party’s reaction to any discontent is likely to be greater repression. The Economist, "In China’s cities, young people with rural ties are angry," 3 May 2018

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

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

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Statistics for repression

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

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

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More Definitions for repression

repression

noun

English Language Learners Definition of repression

: the act of using force to control someone or something
: the state of being controlled by force
: the act of not allowing a memory, feeling, or desire to be expressed

repression

noun
re·​pres·​sion | \ ri-ˈpresh-ən How to pronounce repression (audio) \

Medical Definition of repression

1 : the action or process of repressing gene repression
2a : 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

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