Definition of oppress in English:



  • 1 Keep (someone) in subservience and hardship, especially by the unjust exercise of authority.

    ‘a system that oppressed working people’
    • ‘He speaks as the political representative of an imperialist nation which has brutally oppressed the people of the region for over a century.’
    • ‘Who protests that people aren't oppressed enough?’
    • ‘So when I rail against the corporate capitalist system that oppresses workers, I'm speaking from my own experience.’
    • ‘Pompeo agreed, and realized she needed to tell her story and let people know ‘what it's like to struggle on assistance, and how the government is oppressing people.’’
    • ‘And we are going to stand up for people around the world, oppressed people, who want us to stand up for them.’
    • ‘He is a vicious dictator, brutally oppressing his own people.’
    • ‘A group of youngsters demonstrated with great vigour, what it meant to stand up against the power of a foreign power that continued to oppress the people of India.’
    • ‘It argues that the modern world fosters institutions and ideas that exploit and oppress people and degrade and destroy the environment.’
    • ‘He declares support for the oppressed but hasn't grasped that the people he supports are oppressing people in their own countries and are now attacking the very democracy that he lives in.’
    • ‘It's about a brutal dictator who's oppressing his own people.’
    • ‘He uses stealthy means to savagely oppress the common people.’
    • ‘The fact of the matter is these ‘freedom fighters’ are oppressing their own people.’
    • ‘He has oppressed our people and caused great hardship for too long.’
    • ‘It's also true that they have been oppressing their own people and conducting a campaign of abuse against women that justifies international intervention.’
    • ‘As a country's economy grows, more men gain the material strength to exploit and oppress women.’
    • ‘He can only hope such action is measured, effective and does not add to the misery of some of the world's poorest and most oppressed people.’
    • ‘So we're going to fight for you against the people who are oppressing you.’
    • ‘Robin, isn't it a fact that oppressed people, when seeing freedom, will react in many ways we might not consider normal?’
    • ‘There should be a natural affinity between them and other oppressed people of India.’
    • ‘He was a threat to his neighbors, and he oppressed his own people, and the world is better with him gone.’
    persecuted, downtrodden, abused, maltreated, ill-treated, tyrannized, subjugated, repressed, subdued, crushed, enslaved, exploited, victimized, misused
    disadvantaged, underprivileged, ground down, browbeaten
    persecute, abuse, maltreat, ill-treat, treat harshly, be brutal to, be cruel to, tyrannize, crush, repress, suppress, subjugate, hegemonize, subdue, subject, enslave
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    1. 1.1Cause (someone) to feel distressed, anxious, or uncomfortable.
      ‘he was oppressed by some secret worry’
      • ‘Animal spirits could be low, broken, oppressed, dejected, petulant, harassed or even ruffled beyond description.’
      • ‘I've gotten over being oppressed by it though and will carry on.’
      • ‘On the way, London's ancient, massive buildings, black statues and dirt surround me, oppress and burden me.’
      depress, make despondent, make gloomy, weigh down, lie heavy on, weigh heavily on, cast down, dampen someone's spirits, hang over, prey on, burden, crush, dispirit, dishearten, discourage, sadden, make desolate, get down, bring down, trouble, afflict
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Late Middle English: from Old French oppresser, from medieval Latin oppressare, from Latin oppress- pressed against from the verb opprimere.