Definition of repressed in US English:



  • 1Restrained, inhibited, or oppressed.

    ‘repressed indigenous groups’
    ‘repressed energy’
    oppressed, subjugated, subdued, tyrannized, ground down, downtrodden
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    1. 1.1 (of a thought, feeling, or desire) kept suppressed and unconscious in one's mind.
      ‘repressed memories’
      • ‘Although the script never directly challenged the strict standards of the censors, it hardly needs saying that the repressed desires of nuns was not a common - or safe - subject for a British film in 1947.’
      • ‘He both presides over the house and is imprisoned by it, locked in a house of hidden corruption, where repressed desire flourishes unchecked in the basement and childish things are not put away.’
      • ‘Its founder, Massimo Mensi believed that ‘we must put a stop to the notion that madness is something to be hidden away and repressed… and admit that it is another world, close to us and part of us.’’
      • ‘On the one hand, he jokes about the perverse and comic effects of the acceleration of the silent film; on the other, he expresses his romantic regrets which regularly return in his work like a repressed temptation.’
      • ‘Impersonal, they hint at repressed yearnings for intimacy.’
      • ‘The steamy locker room becomes a version of hell that Tyler, perennially aroused and afraid, fills with stolen glances and repressed longing.’
      • ‘It is the story of a young woman who returns to the childhood home of her grandmother on a remote Maine island to confront her repressed memories.’
      • ‘The surfacing of repressed memories to consciousness entails a codification that demands an expert listener.’
      • ‘I expect for some, the vertiginous image itself may be sufficient to provoke an unwelcome return of barely repressed memories, so perhaps this staple of suspense flicks will be proscribed too.’
      • ‘Ellie thus fits the stereotype of the repressed career woman badly in need of a man to make her a complete woman.’
      • ‘Caliban as rapist threatens the romance of Prospero's colonial husbandry, and the failure of Caliban's education can be seen as a failure to erase a repressed legacy of female-gendered memory.’
      • ‘Clare Higgins invests the widowed teacher with a repressed sensuality that evokes the great Anna Magnani.’
      • ‘Psychoanalysis has focused on how the play dramatizes, as its raison d' être, the problems of the unconscious and repressed desire.’
      • ‘Woof, also, excels, touching a raw nerve within the psyche of a repressed romantic.’
      • ‘But those who explain the appeal of horror in psychoanalytic terms such as the return of repressed, the reconfirmation of previously surmounted beliefs, or sadistic tendencies do not deny this.’
      • ‘The community's crisis of violence is reflected in a recursive narrative pattern, shaped out of repetitions and returns of the repressed memories of white violence in slavery.’
      • ‘Consequently, when characters share on-screen space, it is almost claustrophobic because of the heavy presence of repressed longings and unspoken desires.’
      • ‘The two actresses, both relative newcomers to film, are fine - especially the intense Tendeter, who creates a moving portrait of repressed desire.’
      • ‘It begins with an encounter between Malory, a repressed Englishman restlessly wandering the globe, and the unnamed narrator, as they holiday in Europe.’
      • ‘Theatre's capacity to regress us to childhood may also open the other scene, the unconscious, revealing repressed desires and forgotten fears.’
      restrained, suppressed, held back, held in, kept in check, muffled, stifled, smothered, pent up, bottled up
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    2. 1.2 Characterized by the repression of thoughts or desires, especially sexual ones.
      ‘a very repressed, almost Victorian, household’
      • ‘Caliban's threat, however, is not simply a threat from below: the return of the repressed as both sexual and political uprising.’
      • ‘Many of the films of this period cut to the flesh and blood of European colonialism, compelling us to reflect on our latent racism, our repressed sexuality, and the tacit assumptions of our intellectual heritage.’
      • ‘The camera work drives home Ermo's direct channeling of her repressed sexuality into noodle making: her feet are the manual blender of the dough, her arms the practical muscle power that presses the noodles into shape.’
      • ‘In other words, Glen created Glenda in order to sublimate his repressed sexual/maternal desires, and compensate for a lack of female attention.’
      • ‘By narrating her aunt's story, the narrator attempts to restore the repressed sexuality and foreclose her own independence.’
      • ‘These unleash the film's repressed sexual forces as, in the film's most powerful montage, the mystical conflation of an eclipse and a pond-ripple both reflect and cause the imprisonment of Hobart's character.’
      • ‘Is it really a ghost story, or is it instead a potent psychological exploration of a Victorian woman's battle with the demons of her own repressed sexuality?’
      • ‘We saw in the discussion on organizations as psychic prisons that rationality is potentially a form of repressed sexuality.’
      • ‘they suddenly shift the focus of the movie onto the repressed sexuality of the virginal young Lucy.’
      • ‘We get a sense of her insecurity, her introverted nature, and her repressed sexuality.’
      • ‘He creates a character who society considers bourgeois and sexually repressed but who does not conform to such expectations.’
      • ‘During the filming of Rebel, sexual tensions among Nicholas Ray, Natalie Wood, James Dean and Sal Mineo eerily reflected the repressed sexual desires inherent among the film's characters.’
      • ‘Freudian scholars in particular like to interpret The Turn of the Screw, and this adaptation of it, as a study of repressed sexuality.’
      • ‘As their time in hiding slowly builds, frustration and boredom are replaced by a juvenile playfulness, tinged with repressed sexual longing and shot through with malicious intent.’
      • ‘No hint of repressed sexuality is undelivered from the analyst's couch of his interpretation.’
      • ‘Based on a 1983 novel by Elfriede Jelinek in which she drew on her relationship with a domineering mother, and on her own repressed sexuality, the film is a searing study of its title character's sexual pathology.’
      • ‘For the reader attuned to the homoerotic subtext, the allusion to Madame Bovary here intensifies the sense of Philip's repressed emotions and sexual desire, and positions Gino as the object of that desire.’
      • ‘It's the end of the 1950s, and you know what that means: All the repressed sexuality that's been lurking under the starched skirts and argyle cardigans is coming to a full boil.’
      • ‘Like an insidious sense of darkness creeping up from the unconscious, visually splendid in dank grey tones, Asylum is an explosion of repressed sexuality that is frightening in its force and surprising in its ending.’
      • ‘But there's nothing very Leonard Cohen about this Hilton Hotel hang, unless you want a decor metaphor for one of his sexually repressed characters.’
      inhibited, frustrated, restrained, self-restrained, withdrawn, introverted
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