sup·​pres·​sion | \ sə-ˈpre-shən How to pronounce suppression (audio) \

Definition of suppression

1 : an act or instance of suppressing : the state of being suppressed
2 : the conscious intentional exclusion from consciousness of a thought or feeling

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of suppression in a Sentence

learned that suppression of her angry feelings didn't necessarily make them go away
Recent Examples on the Web Voter suppression could also shape races for state legislatures, which will next session use the 2020 Census results to map out election boundaries. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "Trump 'army' of poll watchers could frighten voters, incite violence, election officials warn," 14 Oct. 2020 That has been the mantra for an election year defined by overlapping crises — the COVID-19 pandemic, a reckoning over racial justice and a battle over voter suppression. Elaine Ayala,, "Ayala: Get out and vote. Our future depends on it.," 13 Oct. 2020 In some states, suppression worsened because of a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that gutted a section of the law requiring states with a history of racially discriminatory voting rules to get federal approval before changing election laws. NBC News, "Black churches mobilizing voters despite virus challenges," 13 Oct. 2020 Their staunch support for Democrats has made Black voters frequent targets of voter suppression and other demobilization efforts, often more potent than deceptive online campaigns aimed at persuasion. Washington Post, "Fake Twitter accounts posing as Black Trump supporters appear, reach thousands, then vanish," 13 Oct. 2020 The stakes are especially high in Georgia, a state with increasingly tight political races and where critics of the state’s election policies have alleged voter suppression in recent years. Alexa Corse And Cameron Mcwhirter, WSJ, "Georgia Voters Set Record on First Day of Early Voting," 13 Oct. 2020 Anyone who has survived an experience via the careful suppression or compartmentalization of emotion is likely to find Big Thief’s system of communication astounding. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "Adrianne Lenker’s Radical Honesty," 12 Oct. 2020 Through partisan gerrymandering and voter suppression, Republican state lawmakers have entrenched themselves in office in North Carolina, Wisconsin, and other states. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Amy Coney Barrett Hearings Are a Gut Check for Democrats," 12 Oct. 2020 Nemes also claimed that there was voter suppression in the primary, especially for majority-minority communities. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "Legislators slam Jefferson County voting plan, demand more polling sites for Election Day," 18 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'suppression.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of suppression

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about suppression

Time Traveler for suppression

Time Traveler

The first known use of suppression was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for suppression

Last Updated

18 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Suppression.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for suppression


sup·​pres·​sion | \ sə-ˈpre-shən How to pronounce suppression (audio) \

Kids Definition of suppression

: an act or instance of putting down or holding back : the state of being put down or held back


sup·​pres·​sion | \ sə-ˈpresh-ən How to pronounce suppression (audio) \

Medical Definition of suppression

: an act or instance of suppressing: as
a : stoppage of a bodily function or a symptom suppression of urine secretion suppression of a cough
b : the failure of development of a bodily part or organ
c : the conscious intentional exclusion from consciousness of a thought or feeling — compare repression sense 2a

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on suppression

What made you want to look up suppression? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!