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

El Niño is a natural warming of tropical Pacific Ocean water, which tends to suppress the development of Atlantic hurricanes. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Atlantic hurricane season forecast changes for the better with fewer storms predicted," 3 July 2018 Pending are motions to dismiss two of the three counts, and one to suppress evidence of where his cellphone was located during the crime. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee community activist Vaun Mayes charged in Sherman Park firebomb plot," 2 July 2018 Ghani was visiting Nangahar to inaugurate a hospital complex and, earlier in the day, had urged security officials to take immediate steps to suppress insurgents in the province. Sayed Salahuddin, Washington Post, "Almost 20 killed in suicide attack in eastern Afghanistan," 1 July 2018 Historically, strict voter ID laws have been used as a way to suppress voter turnout particularly among Black and other minority voters. Kate Guarino,, "How Do I Register To Vote In The 2018 Midterm Elections?," 26 June 2018 Whittier chief executive Frederica Williams had said the layoffs were because of financial trouble after two grants failed to come through, but the union and the workers insist it was done to suppress the union drive., "The week in business," 23 June 2018 The judge at Carpenter's trial refused to suppress the records, finding no warrant was needed, and a federal appeals court agreed. CBS News, "Supreme Court decides police generally need a warrant to track cell phones," 22 June 2018 Still, the fire department trains for such emergencies, has arrangements to partner with other communities if necessary and stocks supplies to suppress flammable liquid fires that can occur during a derailment. Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, "More, longer trains pose concern for suburban leaders after Aurora derailment," 1 June 2018 The raids seemingly were prompted by a warning from the director of the Army and Navy's training camps that if New Orleans did not do more to suppress prostitution, the federal government could declare martial law. Hanna Krueger,, "See which Starbucks stores are closing Tuesday afternoon for bias training," 28 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

8 Nov 2018

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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 \
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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a private place of worship

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