Synonyms & Antonyms of oppress

2 to subject to incapacitating emotional or mental stress
  • a film about a man who is haunted and oppressed by the secrets of his past

Synonyms for oppress

Words Related to oppress

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About oppress

How does the verb oppress differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of oppress are aggrieve, persecute, and wrong. While all these words mean "to injure unjustly or outrageously," oppress suggests inhumane imposing of burdens one cannot endure or exacting more than one can perform.

a people oppressed by a warmongering tyrant

When could aggrieve be used to replace oppress?

In some situations, the words aggrieve and oppress are roughly equivalent. However, aggrieve implies suffering caused by an infringement or denial of rights.

a legal aid society representing aggrieved minority groups

When might persecute be a better fit than oppress?

Although the words persecute and oppress have much in common, persecute implies a relentless and unremitting subjection to annoyance or suffering.

a child persecuted by constant criticism

When is it sensible to use wrong instead of oppress?

While the synonyms wrong and oppress are close in meaning, wrong implies inflicting injury either unmerited or out of proportion to what one deserves.

a penal system that had wronged him

Learn More About oppress

Time Traveler for oppress

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near oppress




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Oppress.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on oppress

Nglish: Translation of oppress for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oppress for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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