Definition of repression in English:

repression

noun

mass noun
  • 1The action of subduing someone or something by force.

    ‘students sparked off events that ended in brutal repression’
    count noun ‘the tsarist repressions’
    • ‘Aristocratic progress is thus checked by the very body responsible for brutal repression, allowing Grandison to avoid complicity in violence.’
    • ‘While many Kurds did manage to assimilate, decades of repression and strained coexistence served to strengthen ethnic self-awareness for innumerable others.’
    • ‘For the Fellbach assignment, Mieth and Hagel returned to the German town they had fled more than two decades earlier because of Nazi repression.’
    • ‘The last forty pages of the publication are dedicated to the numerous journalists who have fallen the victims of repression around the world.’
    • ‘But the political repression in his native Hungary quashed his writing ambitions.’
    • ‘As repression became less overt, the number of arrests dwindled, and with them the number of investigation files.’
    • ‘A reputation for tolerance and civil liberties had been replaced by violence and repression.’
    • ‘In the short term, more repression may be an effective way for these leaders to quell opposition.’
    • ‘Irish readers will quickly spot the familiar pattern of failed uprising followed by brutal repression.’
    • ‘Violence and repression work to desensitize people, leaving only a numbing wish to forget what is happening all about them.’
    • ‘The ruling royal family, which has enjoyed the lion's share of oil wealth, is perceived as corrupt, and repression of domestic discontent is high.’
    • ‘On his election as prime minister, Aznar engaged a policy of repression towards ETA, arresting its leaders and main supporters.’
    • ‘Based on Lawrence Thornton's novel, Hampton strives for a part human, part mystical response to a brutal regime, bent on repression.’
    • ‘Nevertheless many people who now migrate from the Third World do not do so out of choice, but because they are forced to by wars and political repression.’
    • ‘The interruption of totalitarian repression and world war failed to completely remove the cut-up tendency and these days there are plenty of sound artists enthusiastically working on audio cuts ups.’
    • ‘It also provides practical help to journalists and media that are the victims of repression.’
    • ‘Nor can they have any idea of what it must be like to live permanently in an atmosphere of fear and violent repression.’
    • ‘The demand for equal access to oil wealth by local communities and the harsh repression and murder of many indigenous activists by the government protecting the oil companies have made the region notorious.’
    • ‘Before the 1990s this genre was practiced on a rather small scale, not least because of political repression and a conservative, rigidly regulated bureaucracy.’
    • ‘Yet there is also a hard core of miscommunication, repression, and suffering.’
    suppression, quelling, quashing, subduing, crushing, squashing, stamping out
    oppression, subjugation, suppression, domination, tyranny, subjection, despotism, dictatorship, authoritarianism
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The restraint, prevention, or inhibition of a feeling, quality, etc.
      ‘the repression of anger can be positively harmful’
      • ‘Throughout, both sexual motivations and repression dominate.’
      • ‘This reflects the presumed scenario of sexual repression or abuse which associates pleasure with control and isolates the victim in an impassive relationship to bodily function.’
      • ‘Strong image is often reached by means of severe censoring and suppression; the clarity of image frequently contains hidden repression.’
      • ‘Julien uses museums, often founded on colonialist exploitation, as sites of oppression, repression and desire.’
      • ‘This lack may be projected onto their culture, particularly if the lack is due to a culturally driven repression.’
      • ‘If new studies of memory and the brain disprove Freud's fundamental hypotheses about the mechanism of repression, then Freud's theory of libido becomes less plausible, and psychoanalysis is undermined as a theory of art.’
      • ‘After Freud, no one can ignore the realm of the unconscious and repression, and Weinrich considers him as well.’
      • ‘Suo's movie was, beyond sweet entertainment, a subtle look at Japanese work culture and the repression of desire.’
      • ‘What begins as a monologue with French-accented English from a mumbling - if endearing - simpleton emerges as a metaphor not only for language and cultural divides but sexual awakening and repression.’
      • ‘It ignores or abstracts away from the primordial forms of raw sensation: affect, excitation, stimulation and repression, pleasure and pain, shock and habit.’
      • ‘The extra layer of repression, though, becomes a gauze obscuring the emotional beats of the story.’
      • ‘The two valences of withheld history and sexual repression intersect in the confession scene.’
      • ‘Bunuel took tales of heated love and thwarted desire and turned them into personal statements about obsession, repression, bourgeois propriety, Catholicism, and fetishism.’
      • ‘With a camera in hand, she was free to ask the impertinent questions that would emancipate society from its sexual repression.’
      • ‘Shakespeare's ambivalently comic treatment of power, sexuality, and repression belongs very much to the early years of the Jacobean period.’
      • ‘Freudian analysis sees human behaviour being directed by repression of feelings from early childhood.’
      • ‘The denial of consensual interracial alliance - political or sexual - highlights the key role repression plays in establishing the social order of the post-Reconstruction South.’
      • ‘It is actually composed of emotional distance, politics, finance, and sexual repression.’
      • ‘This once-prestigious vocation has fallen on hard times, and for most now conjures little more than hierarchical abuse and sexual repression.’
      • ‘The weakness in radical critiques of society and sex is that they fail to recognise that sex needs a ritual binding to control its demonism and secondly that society's repressions increase sexual pleasure.’
      restraint, restraining, holding back, keeping back, biting back, suppression, keeping in check, control, keeping under control, stifling, smothering, bottling up
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 The action or process of suppressing a thought or desire in oneself so that it remains unconscious.
      ‘children and adults pay a heavy price for their deep repression of thoughts about death’
      count noun ‘an extraordinary panoply of sexual repressions and desires’
      • ‘Particular focus has been on girls and women, for the reason that it is they who suffer most from cultural and religious oppression and repression.’
      • ‘As a young boy but not a child repression of sexual desire for the mother has occurred and latency should be present.’
      • ‘Quentin's attempt to project an alternative ideal for Caddy is a form of repression, masking his unspoken desire for something he cannot have.’
      • ‘I haven't attended a circus since and can only surmise what sort of unspeakable terror I experienced that day, its memory locked deep within the vault of repression that sits just east of my heart.’
      • ‘Psychologically, the deep repression of sexuality that seems to have resulted from the repeated spankings administered to him as a child by his mother may have determined his morbid response to the abuse.’
      • ‘One can go further and suggest that this refusal to acknowledge and represent homosexual desire is another form of the writer's repression of the feminine within.’
      • ‘Most surprising were reports about intellectual repression that students were experiencing.’
      • ‘The power of repression is almost palpable in her gestures and intonations.’
      • ‘His translators and mediators of colonial innocence are now dead so that Ben encounters two themes through which this innocence is challenged: withheld history and sexual repression.’
      • ‘It is in the characters' repression of desire that emotion can be felt most.’
      • ‘Here we see the furtive behavior of Tomik as a desperate need to connect, and even, given his repression, as an understandable misdirection of desire.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, this young cast steers it further into caricature, playing the sexual repression and racism for light laughs.’
      • ‘Struggling with rage, repression, and obsessive desire, she gradually allows herself to have a sexual relationship with the one person she adores - her sister.’
      • ‘When his lawyer describes him as ‘the modern man’, we understand that his repression is shared by the film's society.’
      • ‘They had accepted all that world of sexual repression, had accepted its rules, the hypocrisy of the myth of female virginity and, needless to say, they had accepted authority.’
      • ‘In 1938 he was the subject of an offensive caricature in Samuel Beckett's Murphy, where his experiments with Gaelic prosody and his sexual repression are mocked in the figure of Austin Ticklepenny.’
      • ‘There is an awkward squad in British art bred perhaps of northern Protestantism and the sexual repression, even perversion, that is seen by the rest of Europe as being so characteristically British.’
      • ‘There seemed to be a deep underlying repression in those teens which had no healthy outlet.’
      • ‘He muses that this need to participate confuses some people into mistaking positive pro-action for repression.’
      • ‘For example, during Reiko's struggle for sexual liberation, the mysterious stranger indeed helps knock down the walls of her repression and reawakens her own desires, which takes about half an hour of film time.’

Pronunciation

repression

/rɪˈprɛʃən/