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


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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 The duopoly is the problem, and only the voters can suppress it. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Minor parties suppressed; Too expensive to join Broncos’ bandwagon; We need to tame bad drivers; Veteran receives moving welcome home – 50 years later (12/31/19)," 31 Dec. 2019 The primary mission of the U.S. troops has been to train and assist West African security forces to try to suppress Islamist groups like Boko Haram and offshoots of al-Qaida and the Islamic State group. Arkansas Online, "Defense chief studying troop cuts in West Africa," 25 Dec. 2019 Beijing rejects the accusations and contends that Washington is simply trying to suppress a rising competitor in international trade. Paul Wiseman, Houston Chronicle, "US and China near deal that would suspend planned tariffs," 12 Dec. 2019 Trying to suppress your thoughts is like trying to hold a beach ball underwater. Melody Wilding, Quartz at Work, "How to make hypersensitivity your strongest skill at work," 9 Dec. 2019 That led to accusations that Johnson had suppressed it. Luke Mcgee, CNN, "The two biggest pieces of disinformation in the UK election have come from the government," 20 Nov. 2019 His fall followed violent protests and a mutiny by the police, who failed to suppress them. The Economist, "The end of Evo Morales Was there a coup in Bolivia?," 14 Nov. 2019 Rather than feeling excited about or generally comfortable with her developing body, having to suppress it for the show led to Maisie's discomfort with the changes. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Maisie Williams Said Playing Arya Stark on Game of Thrones Affected Her Body Image," 3 Oct. 2019 The details are fueling objections by Democratic lawmakers that the administration stonewalled them for weeks about the phone call and took extraordinary measures to suppress it from becoming public. San Diego Union-Tribune, "How the White House and Justice learned about whistleblower," 27 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for suppress

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for suppress

Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Suppress.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for suppress


How to pronounce suppress (audio)

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.
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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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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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 insert between existing elements

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