Definition of oppression in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈprɛʃ(ə)n/


[mass noun]
1Prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or exercise of authority: a region shattered by oppression and killing
More example sentences
  • The trick is always to look at what we are doing today as if we were someplace in the future looking back and figure out what the oppressions and the injustices are that we are committing today and to get them out of our lives.
  • It is a struggle to also overcome oppressions based on racism and economic exploitation, as well as a struggle to overcome the legacy of colonialism.
  • For example, in one essay he shows how African Americans in the South sought to disable or challenge the oppressions even before the Civil Rights era with tactics like fare beating and silent protest.
1.1The state of being subject to oppressive treatment: a response to collective poverty and oppression
More example sentences
  • Or perhaps some people are simply destined to poverty, oppression and abuse.
  • Now people are subjected to oppression like before independence.
  • Now we all labour under the cynical belief that poverty, oppression, exploitation is our destiny and we have to stay with it.
1.2Mental pressure or distress: Beatrice’s mood had initially been alarm and a sense of oppression
More example sentences
  • This is a grim, bleak little movie with precious little emotion to it and a real sense of oppression.
  • Their enclosed spaces offer shelter and protection without any sense of oppression.
  • Statists see a world of oppression and pain, and get depressed because of global warming and evil multinationals.


Middle English: from Old French, from Latin oppressio(n-), from the verb opprimere (see oppress).

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Line breaks: op|pres¦sion

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