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

Pruitt may be gone, but the aides who attempted to suppress these studies remain. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "The new EPA chief has his first controversy.," 6 July 2018 Party leaders were extremely adept both at suppressing and incorporating emerging ideologies to preserve the party’s dominance. Patrick J. Mcdonnell,, "In Mexico, a victory at long last for the left and a two-time loser," 2 July 2018 Image Unions and immigration opponents argue that the program suppresses wages and deprives Americans of jobs. Patricia Cohen, New York Times, "With Jobs to Fill, Businesses Play the Visa Lottery," 27 June 2018 The recipients face that, plus a lifetime of taking medications to suppress their immune systems and lower the risk of rejection. Andy Marso, kansascity, "Another historic chain: Research Medical Center transplants four kidneys in two days," 22 June 2018 There are times when baseball inexplicably suppresses personality and expects players to act like robots. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Red Sox players put on a delightful pregame concert from the dugout," 14 May 2018 The order and hearing come after Bradley's attorneys, Robert Tuten and Nick Heatherly, asked the judge to dismiss the charges, suppress the evidence and hold the sheriff in contempt. Ashley Remkus,, "Morgan sheriff and deputies acted criminally in probe of blogger and warden, judge says," 27 Apr. 2018 The report also calls for legislation, long championed by Smith, that many scientists argue could suppress research and helps Republicans in Congress roll back environmental regulations. Michael Schulson, WIRED, "Science's "Reproducibility Crisis" Is Being Used as Political Ammunition," 20 Apr. 2018 The mere mention of voter fraud is a dirty tactic to suppress voters and turn people off from participating in elections. Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, "Trump’s California claim: Millions of people vote ‘many times’," 5 Apr. 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

13 Sep 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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