Definition of oppress in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈpres/


[with object]
1Keep (someone) in subservience and hardship, especially by the unjust exercise of authority: a system that oppressed working people
More example sentences
  • So when I rail against the corporate capitalist system that oppresses workers, I'm speaking from my own experience.
  • It argues that the modern world fosters institutions and ideas that exploit and oppress people and degrade and destroy the environment.
  • He has oppressed our people and caused great hardship for too long.
persecute, abuse, maltreat, ill-treat, tyrannize, crush, repress, suppress, subjugate, subdue, keep down, grind down, ride roughshod over, rule with an iron fist/hand
persecuted, downtrodden, abused, maltreated, ill-treated, subjugated, tyrannized, repressed, subdued, crushed, browbeaten;
disadvantaged, underprivileged
1.1Cause (someone) to feel distressed, anxious, or uncomfortable: he was oppressed by some secret worry
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Animal spirits could be low, broken, oppressed, dejected, petulant, harassed or even ruffled beyond description.
depress, make gloomy, make despondent, weigh down, weigh heavily on, cast down, dampen someone's spirits, dispirit, dishearten, discourage, sadden, get down, bring down
archaic deject


Late Middle English: from Old French oppresser, from medieval Latin oppressare, from Latin oppress- 'pressed against', from the verb opprimere.

Words that rhyme with oppress

acquiesce, address, assess, Bess, bless, bouillabaisse, caress, cess, chess, coalesce, compress, confess, convalesce, cress, deliquesce, digress, dress, duchesse, duress, effervesce, effloresce, evanesce, excess, express, fess, finesse, fluoresce, guess, Hesse, impress, incandesce, intumesce, jess, largesse, less, manageress, mess, ness, noblesse, obsess, outguess, phosphoresce, politesse, possess, press, priestess, princess, process, profess, progress, prophetess, regress, retrogress, stress, success, suppress, tendresse, top-dress, transgress, tress, tristesse, underdress, vicomtesse, yes

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: op·press

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