Definition of pent-up in English:



  • 1(of emotions, energy, etc.) unable to be expressed or released.

    ‘pent-up frustrations’
    • ‘As the starting gun barked out the release of pent-up energy, each triathlete fought for his or her personal space in the sea of bodies.’
    • ‘This in turn drives the real leaders of the community to the margins, while the people are happy with the release of their pent-up emotion in the form of slogans.’
    • ‘Try to release your pent-up emotions by participating in some extra physical activities like running, swimming, whatever.’
    • ‘While in line at the bank one afternoon, my toddler decided to release some pent-up energy and ran amok.’
    • ‘Our teacher then taught us several breathing techniques which were promised to result in a calm expulsion of toxins, the release of pent-up emotions and a sizzling spurt of energy.’
    • ‘Consequently, much creative, pent-up energy is now released into the art of scrapbooking.’
    • ‘Sometimes we just need a way to release our pent-up emotions.’
    • ‘It was more an outbreak of energy and emotion and pent-up frustration.’
    • ‘At the time it didn't sound like a clever psychological ploy, but rather a release of pent-up emotions.’
    • ‘For the fans, this dance provides catharsis and releases pent-up energy.’
  • 2Closely confined or held back.

    ‘a surge of pent-up water’
    • ‘The pent-up waters, controlled by a sluice gate, were directed past the mill wheel, driving the wooden gears, shafts and millstones.’
    • ‘It forms a significant bulwark against the tide so that, even on neaps, there is an appreciable movement of water as the pent-up flow sweeps around the headland.’
    • ‘A huge lake of water is held back by this and I can sense the force/pressure of this pent up water.’
    • ‘Pent-up water from three days of heavy rain gushed through the breach.’
    • ‘A captured fish or a pent-up mass of water was, by contrast, a private good, something that belonged to someone.’
    repressed, suppressed, stifled, smothered, restrained, constrained, confined, bottled up, held back, held in, kept in check, curbed, bridled
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Late 16th century: pent, obsolete past participle of pen (verb).