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 All of this comes as Dr. Zhong Nanshan, the Chinese government's senior medical adviser, confirmed that local authorities in Wuhan had suppressed key details about the magnitude of the initial outbreak. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for May 18: Coronavirus, mass gatherings, CDC, Steve Linick, Rwanda," 18 May 2020 On appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court, his attorneys argued that his statements to police should have been suppressed because he was not informed of his right to speak with his consulate. oregonlive, "Who’s on Oregon’s death row: 27 men; 2 others held elsewhere," 15 May 2020 The men were released in 2015 after witnesses recanted their testimony, and a judge found that the officers and Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Carmen Marino suppressed evidence that supported their innocence. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, "Judge finds East Cleveland law director acted unethically in wrongful imprisonment case, disqualifies her from representing police officers," 13 May 2020 According to Live Science, researchers have previously shown that quick hits of carbon dioxide can actually suppress seizures in some epilepsy patients. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Naked Mole-Rats Bathe Their Bodies in Carbon Dioxide to Prevent Seizures," 4 May 2020 And few people believe the official tallies; there is some evidence that the true numbers are being suppressed. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, "‘There Are No Viruses Here’: Leader of Belarus Scoffs at Lockdowns," 25 Apr. 2020 Climate models, fed by the shifting ocean data, pointed to a troubling conclusion: By year’s end, that cold pool would suppress evaporation that would otherwise fuel rains across southern Africa. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "How a team of scientists studying drought helped build the world’s leading famine prediction model," 15 Apr. 2020 If nothing is done, the death toll would be over 2 million in the United States, and, even in the best-case scenario, policies aimed simply at slowing the pandemic without suppressing it would only halve that figure. Philippe Lemoine, National Review, "Complicated Mathematical Models Are Not Substitutes for Common Sense," 30 Mar. 2020 My character has demons from the past that he’s keeping suppressed or hidden. Lauren Huff,, "Castle Rock star Tim Robbins could be heading back to Shawshank," 17 Oct. 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

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Suppress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 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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