Definition of depression in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Feelings of severe despondency and dejection.

    ‘self-doubt creeps in and that swiftly turns to depression’
    • ‘It felt unsettling because we as the audience are accustomed to sadness, depression and irrational outbursts in typical movies that deal with death.’
    • ‘We're staying several steps ahead of gloom, despair, deep dark depression, and excessive misery.’
    • ‘We are too prone to judge ourselves by our moments of despondency and depression.’
    • ‘Everybody gets feelings of sadness or depression and most of these are short-lived and tolerable.’
    • ‘Though a settler-farmer not dependent entirely on farm income for a living, even I am not able to escape this feeling of gloom and depression.’
    • ‘Feelings of depression and despair are common.’
    • ‘The general national mood can only be described as one of prolonged depression.’
    • ‘Moodiness contributes to sadness and depression, unpredictable mood swings and fidgeting, especially among the opposite sex.’
    • ‘I'm angry because I feel like this generation is being ravished by depression and despair.’
    • ‘Regular readers will know I was deep in the throes of depression, both seasonal and related to other sources.’
    • ‘A pretty astounding year for debut albums too, despite the doom and gloom and depression that allegedly is swamping the music industry.’
    • ‘Don't allow yourself the luxury of falling into depression and cynicism and despair.’
    • ‘When I came home from Wales I was struck by horrible feelings of doom, depression, general low spirits and a sense of self-loathing.’
    • ‘Tiredness might have played its part, but the sense of dejection and depression emanating from the studio clouded the whole broadcast.’
    • ‘Depression, dullness, apathy - these were the beasts I could no longer afford to feed.’
    • ‘Megan drove back to her place feeling exhaustion and depression settle in.’
    • ‘Grace found herself being dragged into depression by her own thoughts.’
    • ‘He did not kiss the old woman's hand; for, in his fatigue and depression, the necessity to pretend fell away.’
    • ‘We have unprecedented depression and pessimism.’
    • ‘The mood among local farmers is depression, despair and devastation, and there is no end in sight.’
    melancholy, misery, sadness, unhappiness, sorrow, woe, gloom, gloominess, dejection, downheartedness, despondency, dispiritedness, low spirits, heavy-heartedness, moroseness, discouragement, despair, desolation, dolefulness, moodiness, pessimism, hopelessness
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    1. 1.1Psychiatry A mental condition characterized by feelings of severe despondency and dejection, typically also with feelings of inadequacy and guilt, often accompanied by lack of energy and disturbance of appetite and sleep.
      ‘she was referred by a psychiatrist treating her for depression’
      • ‘Clinical depression is generally thought to have a direct link to brain chemistry.’
      • ‘Jo took him to a psychologist who prescribed medication for depression.’
      • ‘A small number of people suffer from depression so severe that they may need to be admitted to hospital.’
      • ‘Seeing a counselor for depression is not something to be ashamed of any more than seeing a physician for a physical ailment.’
      • ‘Anne visited her GP who diagnosed severe depression.’
      • ‘Solutions for clinical depression are available.’
      • ‘Scientists have isolated a gene that appears to lead to a higher risk for depression.’
      • ‘He had been battling depression for some time.’
      • ‘Long-term illnesses, such as diabetes, Parkinsons, or cancer, also may lead to depression.’
      • ‘People of all ages suffer from depression.’
  • 2A long and severe recession in an economy or market.

    ‘the depression in the housing market’
    • ‘For example, he considers economic depressions to be the intensification of the competitive process.’
    • ‘It has lasted for a long time, through depressions, recessions, slumps, civil wars and world wars.’
    • ‘According to him, the original estimate did take into account periodic recessions and depressions in the stock market.’
    • ‘The prolonged depression of the 1880s increased the pressure for change.’
    • ‘Running big federal deficits in hard economic times is one of those ‘automatic stabilizers’ that help keep recessions from turning into depressions.’
    • ‘Just as the mass extinctions were associated with climatic shifts, depressions and recessions often reflect changing economic conditions.’
    • ‘Consistent with the above foundation of basic principle, the advocates of laissez-faire capitalism argue that depressions are not the result of anything inherent in the economic system.’
    • ‘The severe and prolonged depression of the 1890's resulted in the decline of the slate industry and only a few men were employed.’
    • ‘It also generates the periodic crises characteristic of capitalism - what we call recessions and depressions.’
    • ‘These are the people responsible for recessions and depressions.’
    • ‘He also argued that economic depressions stimulated goldmining by lowering costs and releasing labour for prospecting.’
    • ‘Despite the severity of the depression in the international economy, standards of living did not show correspondingly steep falls.’
    • ‘Yet, the final outcome - an economic depression - would have been exactly the same.’
    • ‘After a prolonged agricultural depression lifted in the 1890s, the worst of rural poverty was finally dispelled.’
    • ‘Only in 1930-31 did it become apparent that the world was in the throes of a prolonged and deep depression.’
    • ‘This turned what might have been a short recession into the greatest depression in the nation's history.’
    • ‘They were the first to deal with the issue in a systematic way and to apply their conclusions to the problem of economic depressions.’
    • ‘They tolerated the gyrations of the business cycle more willingly, including dozens of recessions and several deep economic depressions.’
    • ‘Most of the worst recessions and depressions occur the year following an election.’
    • ‘They have developed a close relationship between stock market crashes and the economic recessions and depressions that follow them.’
    recession, slump, decline, downturn, slowdown, standstill
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    1. 2.1The financial and industrial slump of 1929 and subsequent years.
  • 3[mass noun] The action of lowering something or pressing something down.

    ‘depression of the plunger delivers two units of insulin’
    • ‘Slight depression of the clutch stops the tractor's forward motion, while full depression stops the PTO action.’
    • ‘Emergency braking techniques are taught at an early stage of driver training and require rapid and forceful depression of the brake pedal and then the clutch pedal.’
    • ‘The depression of the clutch pedal lets the force from the pressure plate's spring to release and allow the discs to move and rotate.’
    • ‘The control signal or input for brake release may therefore be generated or relate to accelerator depression, clutch engagement or gear selection.’
    • ‘Complete depression of the pedal removes all output torque, whilst gradual release of the pedal leads to progressive torque introduction.’
    1. 3.1[count noun]A sunken place or hollow on a surface.
      ‘the original shallow depressions were slowly converted to creeks’
      • ‘Stigmaeopsis mites construct extremely dense oval woven roofs over depressions on the lower surfaces of host leaves.’
      • ‘The original site was a depression adjoining the river, which automatically became a swamp frequented by water birds in the wet times.’
      • ‘The stone includes a depression on its concave surface where the practitioner's finger was inserted in order to assist in applying force.’
      • ‘These tiny flowers offer nectar in a shallow median depression on the lip surface.’
      • ‘On the western end of the beach is a large, grassy mound with a shallow depression in the top. This is the site of a prehistoric fortification, or broch.’
      • ‘Magnetic vortices moving back and forth inside depressions on a superconducting surface could serve as single-particle bits for a nanoscale computer.’
      • ‘The proximal half of the ventral surface forms a long depression.’
      • ‘It is usually sunken into a depression so that the rim is level with the ground.’
      • ‘Multiple depressions dotted the surface of the sandy riverbank, as if it had taken on the look of the surface of a golf ball.’
      • ‘The presence of shallow depressions in the ground surface allows time for water to percolate into the soil and reduces the volume and speed of flow across the slope.’
      • ‘It over looked some sort of depression in the land.’
      • ‘Implants are generally not attached to the underlying structures because they are made with depressions on the under surface to fit over the anatomic areas on which they are inserted.’
      • ‘The images relayed from the probe were not much more exciting - some low hills and surface depressions.’
      • ‘Reduced infiltration will cause water ponding for longer periods following rainfall on a field with surface depressions.’
      • ‘In the idling zone the surface includes a plurality of shallow depressions disposed in an annular zone.’
      • ‘A lush habitat appears where surface water accumulates in shallow depressions to form seasonal or fairly permanent ponds.’
      • ‘It would have blended seamlessly into the wall if it weren't for the circular depressions embedded on its surface.’
      • ‘Specially engineered depressions in the surface of the inner skin eliminate the need for a separate welded-on reinforcement to increase panel rigidity.’
      • ‘Using the back of a spoon, make a shallow depression in the centre, and build up the sides as high as you can.’
      • ‘Nests are usually shallow depressions in a muddy or sandy bottom in which the eggs are deposited.’
      hollow, indentation, dent, dint, cavity, concavity, dip, pit, hole, pothole, sink, sinkhole, excavation, trough, crater
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  • 4Meteorology
    A region of lower atmospheric pressure, especially a cyclonic weather system.

    ‘hurricanes start off as loose regions of bad weather known as tropical depressions’
    • ‘Frontal systems associated with depressions traveling eastwards across the ocean have a significant influence on the weather in southern South Australia during this season.’
    • ‘Rainfall in the savannah region usually arrives between November and April in heavy bursts from monsoonal depressions or tropical cyclones.’
    • ‘Cyclonic weather with a depression centred over the UK can cause unsettled conditions in both winter and summer.’
    • ‘In middle latitudes, belts of west-travelling cyclones or depressions bring rain to areas of hundreds of square kilometres.’
    • ‘The most significant features of the wet season are thunderstorms, tropical cyclones and rain depressions.’
  • 5Astronomy Geography
    The angular distance of an object below the horizon or a horizontal plane.

    • ‘Thus various stages of twilight are defined in terms of the solar depression angle, in degrees.’
    • ‘Angular depressions at the base of siltstone laminae represent casts of halite that was dissolved by lower-salinity waters that introduced silt.’
    • ‘After sunset, as the depression of the sun increases the sky gets darker and darker until no scattered light reaches the observer.’


Late Middle English: from Latin depressio(n-), from deprimere press down (see depress).