sup·​press | \ sə-ˈpres How to pronounce suppress (audio) \
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 How to pronounce suppressibility (audio) \ noun
suppressible \ sə-​ˈpre-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce suppressible (audio) \ adjective
suppressive \ sə-​ˈpre-​siv How to pronounce suppressive (audio) \ adjective
suppressiveness \ sə-​ˈpre-​siv-​nəs How to pronounce suppressiveness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for suppress


burke, cover (up), hush (up)

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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

Kidd said during the hearing, which was suppressed for two months. Rod Mcguirk, The Seattle Times, "Australian reporters charged over Pell gag order violations," 26 Mar. 2019 McClenachan suggests looking to the alewife, a species that lives near her home in Maine and whose ranks were suppressed for several centuries because of dams that prevented them from swimming up the local rivers to spawn. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "What Will Be the Last Fish?," 10 Dec. 2018 Yet Hill's playing time has been somewhat suppressed by foul trouble. Rob Mahoney,, "It's Now or Never for George Hill and the Cavaliers," 6 June 2018 Israeli officials see Poland’s controversial legislation as an attempt to suppress such discussion, and Netanyahu has faced criticism from historians in Israel for not opposing the law, which critics say distorts history. Aron Heller, The Seattle Times, "Israel hosts east European leaders after summit scrapped," 19 Feb. 2019 For years now, Republicans have been using tools like voter ID laws and gerrymandering to rig the electoral system in their favor by suppressing minority votes and packing minority voters into a handful of districts. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The 9 thinkers who made sense of 2018’s chaos," 27 Dec. 2018 Calls for the recognition of political parties were violently suppressed and activists jailed during Gayoom's 30-year authoritarian rule. Krishan Francis, Fox News, "Maldives prepares for polls seen as test for young democracy," 21 Sep. 2018 Later investigation discovered that 10 restaurants in The Dalles had had their salad bars infected by followers of Rajneesh in an attempt to suppress voter turnout and ensure the group could gain seats on the county commission. Adam Carlson,, "Everything to Know About the ‘Cult’ That Took Over a Tiny Oregon Town, Featured in Netflix’s Wild Wild Country," 6 Apr. 2018 The announcement was hailed as a victory by supporters of the defendants, who claimed from the start that the trials were an attempt by the Trump administration to suppress and criminalize dissent. CBS News, "Feds drop charges against more than 100 arrested during inauguration protests," 19 Jan. 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

12 Apr 2019

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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 How to pronounce suppress (audio) \
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 How to pronounce suppress (audio) \

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 How to pronounce suppressibility (audio) \ noun, plural suppressibilities
suppressible \ -​ˈpres-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce suppressible (audio) \ adjective

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transitive verb
sup·​press | \ sə-ˈpres How to pronounce suppress (audio) \

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 How to pronounce suppression (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on suppress

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with suppress

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for suppress

Spanish Central: Translation of suppress

Nglish: Translation of suppress for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of suppress for Arabic Speakers

Comments on suppress

What made you want to look up suppress? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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