Definition of depress in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Make (someone) feel utterly dispirited or dejected.

    ‘that first day at school depressed me’
    • ‘It depresses me to think of people trying to sell papers by dredging up bad things or bad news.’
    • ‘Sheila said: ‘It depresses us looking out on the mess every day.’’
    • ‘He said: ‘I do quite like Christmas, but sometimes it depresses me, sometimes it makes me feel like more of a loser than I do already.’’
    • ‘Sit her down and explain how much this is depressing you.’
    • ‘At first it depressed me that people gauged their popularity by how many texts they received, but on further reflection I realised that it's nothing new.’
    • ‘It just depresses me that so many people waste so much time bleating inanely and helplessly when there are lives to go out and live.’
    • ‘It just depresses me to lose customers because of this.’
    • ‘I've been away from my social life for so long now that I'm starting to forget how to have fun and that's seriously depressing me.’
    • ‘This is a thought that depresses me a little bit.’
    • ‘Don't put the songs on… they are seriously depressing me.’
    • ‘Far from depressing me or driving me away from the faith, I found these controversies enormously heartening.’
    • ‘I am sick to death of mud and rain and grey skies - it depresses me.’
    • ‘It depresses me to hear on the news the number of people murdered or dying violently.’
    • ‘Thinking these dark thoughts doesn't depress me; in fact, I'm a happy person.’
    • ‘The contrast depresses me.’
    • ‘That was completely demoralising, it shattered my confidence, and I was depressed for a year.’
    • ‘It depresses me because of events from over a year ago.’
    • ‘It depresses me thinking about how I will cope with the situation following the recent government decision to increase prices.’
    • ‘The fact that I know this depresses me more than you can imagine.’
    • ‘Besides, all these photos from summer are depressing me - remember when the sky was blue?’
    make sad, sadden, make unhappy, cast down, get down, make gloomy, make despondent, dispirit
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  • 2Reduce the level or strength of activity in (something, especially an economic or biological system)

    ‘fear of inflation in America depressed bond markets’
    ‘alcohol depresses the nervous system’
    • ‘Against that, the higher taxes needed to pay back all that debt are going to depress the economy.’
    • ‘But they also are aware that large tax increases at this time of economic stagnation and rising unemployment would depress economic activity even further.’
    • ‘All this intensifies the economic slump and depresses prices further.’
    • ‘Studies show sedative herbs gently depress the central nervous system, thus calming you and inducing sleep.’
    • ‘Overall, the effect was to depress global economic activity, but we're getting over it.’
    • ‘Chemotherapy will only depress her immune system further.’
    • ‘Acutely, it depresses the central nervous system and can also precipitate cardiac arrhythmia.’
    • ‘Income taxes lead to economic costs because they tend to depress the overall level of employment in the economy.’
    • ‘These actions further depress economic activity, prices, corporate cash flows and the ability of borrowers to service debts.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, it actually aggravates the sense of business anxiety and fear and the reinforcing restraint which will depress economic activity further.’
    • ‘Inflationary policies conducted for long periods of time not only foster the growth of government but also depress economic activity.’
    • ‘Dumping shares further depresses already depressed markets, crystallising losses in the process.’
    • ‘Treatments that depress the immune system leave the body unguarded against illness and even common infections can be extremely dangerous.’
    • ‘Alcohol itself is a depressant, therefore combining it with a barbiturate can depress the nervous system to such an extent that it ceases functioning altogether.’
    • ‘General anesthesia causes peripheral vessels to dilate by depressing the sympathetic nervous system.’
    • ‘Consumer demand will be depressed as stock prices retreat, leading to lower levels of net household wealth.’
    • ‘In fact, an excess of these helpful minerals may even depress your immune system and exacerbate the infection process.’
    • ‘Falling stocks may further depress the world's economies’
    • ‘Inhalants are breathable chemical vapors that can produce a quick, powerful high, usually by depressing the central nervous system.’
    • ‘High or rising rates of interest will have a negative influence on effective demand and depress the economy.’
    slow down, slow up, reduce, lower, weaken, sap, devitalize, impair, deflate
    reduce, lower, cut, cheapen, put down, keep down, mark down, discount, deflate, depreciate, devalue, diminish, downgrade
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  • 3Push or pull (something) down into a lower position.

    ‘depress the lever’
    • ‘To fold simply push the sight down, depress the button, and lock the sight into place.’
    • ‘The right hand depresses the locking latch, then lowers the grip frame.’
    • ‘When the grip safety is depressed the rod is pushed up and lifts the firing pin block located in the slide.’
    • ‘A quick adjustment of his grip and his thumb depressed the button that released the loaded magazine, allowing it to drop an inch out of the weapon.’
    • ‘However, with the safety engaged, depressing this lever allows the bolt to be operated.’
    • ‘When the bread is inserted and the toaster levers depressed it will begin singing and flashing its lights.’
    • ‘Your thumb will depress the magazine release lever as you grasp the magazine.’
    • ‘When the grip safety is depressed it lifts a small lever that lies beside the hammer and is held in place by the hammer pin.’
    • ‘When you open up previously inaccessible areas by turning a lever or depressing a block, the camera unlocks its view from the character.’
    • ‘The unit removes easily by simply depressing a lever and turning it 90 degrees.’
    • ‘At once, the driver lightly depressed the accelerator and they pushed away from the curb into the bustling city traffic.’
    • ‘He just did not have the weight to depress the lever.’
    • ‘Taria pressed and depressed the bomb trigger twice, and everyone could hear the double clunk of the bombs falling out of the bomb bay.’
    • ‘The front of the faceplate easily detaches by depressing a small button on either side and pulling it forwards.’
    • ‘To drive it forward you simply depress a lever with your right thumb; the further you push it, the faster you go.’
    • ‘The centre lever is depressed to set the trigger, then the rope is looped around the bowstring and locked into the jaw.’
    • ‘Integral with the map is the audio component that allows a visitor to locate, select, and depress buttons that activate voice descriptions of specific areas of the building or exhibit.’
    • ‘As the slide is pulled to the rear, depress the ejector at the right rear of the frame.’
    • ‘To use the extinguisher, you pull out the safety pin and depress the operating lever.’
    • ‘It must also be in the proper position to depress the plunger on the deadlocking latch.’
    push, push down, press, press down, exert pressure on, lower, hold down
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Late Middle English: from Old French depresser, from late Latin depressare, frequentative of deprimere ‘press down’.