de·​press | \ di-ˈpres How to pronounce depress (audio) , dē- \
depressed; depressing; depresses

Definition of depress

transitive verb

1 obsolete : repress, subjugate
2a : to press down depress a typewriter key
b : to cause to sink to a lower position
3 : to lessen the activity or strength of drugs that may depress the appetite
4 : sadden, discourage don't let the news depress you
5 : to decrease the market value or marketability of

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Other Words from depress

depressible \ di-​ˈpre-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce depress (audio) , dē-​ \ adjective

Examples of depress in a Sentence

The news seemed to depress him a little. I don't mean to depress you, but there's no way we can win. We were all depressed by the loss. You shouldn't let this kind of problem depress you. These changes could depress the economy. Market conditions are likely to depress earnings in the next quarter. depressing the price of a stock Slowly depress the car's brake pedal. Depress the “shift” key on your keyboard. The doctor will depress your tongue and look at your throat.
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Recent Examples on the Web No big names or exciting races on the top of the ticket could depress GOP turnout for downballot elections. Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 Sep. 2021 Aggressive plants, native as well as non-native, can depress biodiversity and kill off other plants. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 16 Sep. 2021 The end of Roe might catalyze a feminist juggernaut, but the continuance of Roe might depress turnout among social conservatives. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 4 Sep. 2021 And that is after adjustments for seasonal swings that boost the figures for the colder months, when there is less actual construction, and depress the figures for the warmer months. Justin Lahart, WSJ, 20 July 2021 Government deficits depress private investment, as shown in the chart below. Douglas Carr, National Review, 24 Aug. 2021 That’s the unpredictable reality of the movie theater business as the delta variant continues to depress ticket sales across the globe. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 22 Aug. 2021 But there is nothing fair about Republican efforts to depress minority turnout by limiting early voting, creating new obstacles for mail-in ballots, and purging the voter rolls. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 16 Aug. 2021 The resulting supply bump in those other states will depress prices — good for consumers there in the short run, bad for producers and everyone in the long run. Will Swaim, National Review, 9 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'depress.' 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 depress

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for depress

Middle English, from Middle French depresser, from Latin depressus, past participle of deprimere to press down, from de- + premere to press — more at press

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Time Traveler for depress

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

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Last Updated

12 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Depress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for depress



English Language Learners Definition of depress

: to make (someone) feel sad : to make (someone) depressed
: to decrease the activity or strength of (something)
: to press (something) down


de·​press | \ di-ˈpres How to pronounce depress (audio) \
depressed; depressing

Kids Definition of depress

1 : to press down Depress the "enter" key.
2 : to make sad or discouraged Don't let the news depress you.
3 : to lessen the activity or strength of Bad weather had depressed sales.


transitive verb
de·​press | \ di-ˈpres How to pronounce depress (audio) \

Medical Definition of depress

1 : to diminish the activity, strength, or yield of able to depress irritability of the heart muscle by the use of such a drug as procaine
2 : to lower in spirit or mood

More from Merriam-Webster on depress

Nglish: Translation of depress for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of depress for Arabic Speakers


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