sup·press | \sə-ˈpres \
suppressed; suppressing; suppresses

Definition of suppress 

transitive verb

1 : to put down by authority or force : subdue suppress a riot

2 : to keep from public knowledge: such as

a : to keep secret

b : to stop or prohibit the publication or revelation of suppress the test results

3a : to exclude from consciousness

b : to keep from giving vent to : check suppressed her anger

4 obsolete : to press down

5a : to restrain from a usual course or action suppress a cough

b : to inhibit the growth or development of

6 : to inhibit the genetic expression of suppress a mutation

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Other Words from suppress

suppressibility \sə-ˌpre-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē \ noun
suppressible \sə-ˈpre-sə-bəl \ adjective
suppressive \sə-ˈpre-siv \ adjective
suppressiveness \sə-ˈpre-siv-nəs \ noun

Examples of suppress in a Sentence

Political dissent was brutally suppressed. The governor tried to suppress the news. He struggled to suppress his feelings of jealousy. She could not suppress her anger. I had to suppress an urge to tell him what I really thought.
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Recent Examples on the Web

And studies have shown that satiereal suppresses the appetites of rats., "The Problem With Those Appetite-Suppressant Lollipops Kim Kardashian Is Advertising," 11 July 2018 The Lions have a deep receiving corps with Marvin Jones, Kenny Golladay and TJ Jones, so that suppresses Tate’s ranking on this list. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions 2018 most important: No. 11 Golden Tate dependable," 7 July 2018 In 1846, a Boston dentist named William Morton discovered that sulfuric ether could safely suppress consciousness during surgery. Alexander Zaitchik, The New Republic, "How Big Pharma Was Captured by the One Percent," 28 June 2018 Later, researchers were able to find the exact code that suppressed the emissions control system on 2007-2015 diesel Volkswagens, Audis, and Porsches from Volkswagen Group. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Volkswagen Group will pay another $1.2 billion in Germany over diesel scandal," 13 June 2018 Experts speculated that the weight of East Antarctica’s ice sheet might be suppressing earthquakes. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Earthquakes Rumble Under East Antarctica Much More Frequently Than Thought," 6 June 2018 That will involve an updated Do Not Disturb function for nighttime and other scenarios, allowing users to set a time limit for the function that will suppress push notifications for a period of time. Dan Rys, Billboard, "Stream Apple's WWDC 2018 Keynote Presentation Here," 4 June 2018 If an El Nino develops later this summer, that could suppress storm development during the season’s peak months from August through October. Jennifer Kay,, "Alberto strikes Gulf Coast with dangerous surf, heavy rains," 28 May 2018 Moreover, Conroy questions the integrity of Cook County judges who never suppressed confessions made to police officers who were later found to be coercing defendants. Maya Dukmasova, Chicago Reader, "Archive Dive / Crime / Criminal Justice That time a Cook County judge ruled on the case of a man he himself put in prison when he was still a prosecutor," 25 May 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for suppress

Middle English, from Latin suppressus, past participle of supprimere, from sub- + premere to press — more at press

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Statistics for suppress

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for suppress

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

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More Definitions for suppress



English Language Learners Definition of suppress

: to end or stop (something) by force

: to keep (something) secret : to not allow people to know about or see (something)

: to not allow yourself to feel, show, or be affected by (an emotion)


sup·press | \sə-ˈpres \
suppressed; suppressing

Kids Definition of suppress

1 : to put down (as by authority or force) : subdue Police suppressed a riot.

2 : to hold back : repress The girls could hardly suppress a smile.


transitive verb
sup·press | \sə-ˈpres \

Medical Definition of suppress 

1 : to exclude from consciousness suppressed anxiety

2 : to restrain from a usual course or action suppress a cough

3 : inhibit sense 2 suppresses the human immune response— Josie Glausiusz especially : to inhibit the genetic expression of suppress a mutation

Other Words from suppress

suppressibility \-ˌpres-ə-ˈbil-ət-ē \ noun plural -ties
suppressible \-ˈpres-ə-bəl \ adjective

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transitive verb
sup·press | \sə-ˈpres \

Legal Definition of suppress 

1 : to put down by authority or force

2a : to keep secret

b : to stop or prohibit the publication or revelation of

3a : to exclude (illegally obtained evidence) from use at trial suppress narcotics found in violation of the right against unreasonable search and seizure

b : to fail to disclose (material evidence favorable to a defendant) in violation of due process accused the prosecution of suppressing evidence — compare brady material

intransitive verb

: to suppress evidence

Other Words from suppress

suppressible adjective
suppression \-ˈpre-shən \ noun

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Comments on suppress

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