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

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

By suppressing your ovulation, combination pills tamp down on the testosterone spikes that often accompany ovulation, Dr. Wu explains. SELF, "Here’s Exactly How to Find the Best Birth Control Pill for You," 14 Sep. 2018 Democrats have accused Republicans of trying to suppress votes from minorities and poorer people who tend to vote for Democrats. Julie Carr Smyth And Mark Sherman,, "Voter purges: U.S. Supreme Court to decide if Ohio illegally purged voters," 2 Jan. 2018 In one deadly week that August, rioting Arabs murdered over 100 Jews, while over 100 Arabs were killed by British police trying to suppress the unrest. Billy Perrigo, Time, "Prince William Is Visiting the Middle East. Here's What to Know About Britain's Controversial Role in Shaping the Region," 25 June 2018 Try desperately to suppress your own opinions and ignore the media’s opinions about whom the Magic should draft. Mike Bianchi,, "Advice to Magic fans: Ignore media and put trust in Jeff Weltman during NBA Draft," 8 June 2018 Cohen is under investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan for potentially breaking the law by trying to suppress negative news coverage of Trump before the 2016 election. Alan Feuer,, "Lawyer for 2 women who say they were Schneiderman victims talked to Cohen," 11 May 2018 The same blockchain also included online news articles detailing pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong — news that Beijing has tried in the past to suppress. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "As China Censors MeToo Activists, Ethereum's Blockchain Proves to Be an Unlikely Ally," 25 Apr. 2018 High pressure to the north will try to suppress a storm to our south and spare the state from more snow. Hartford Courant,, "High Pressure Could Spare The State From More Snow," 18 Mar. 2018 Reportedly, Ira Gershwin, George’s brother, lyricist, and posthumous guardian, found Jackson’s arrangement disrespectful and tried to suppress the album. Matthew Guerrieri, San Francisco Chronicle, "How the classical took control of the jazz in ‘Rhapsody in Blue’," 28 Feb. 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

4 Jan 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 \
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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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).


someone who never drinks alcohol

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