Definition of pent-up in English:


Line breaks: pent-up


1(Of emotions, energy, etc.) unable to be expressed or released: pent-up frustrations
More example sentences
  • Our teacher then taught us several breathing techniques which were promised to result in a calm expulsion of toxins, the release of pent-up emotions and a sizzling spurt of energy.
  • Try to release your pent-up emotions by participating in some extra physical activities like running, swimming, whatever.
  • At the time it didn't sound like a clever psychological ploy, but rather a release of pent-up emotions.
2Closely confined or held back: a surge of pent-up water
More example sentences
  • The pent-up waters, controlled by a sluice gate, were directed past the mill wheel, driving the wooden gears, shafts and millstones.
  • A captured fish or a pent-up mass of water was, by contrast, a private good, something that belonged to someone.
  • It forms a significant bulwark against the tide so that, even on neaps, there is an appreciable movement of water as the pent-up flow sweeps around the headland.
repressed, suppressed, stifled, smothered, restrained, constrained, confined, bottled up, held in/back, kept in check, curbed, bridled


late 16th century: pent, obsolete past participle of pen2 (verb).

Definition of pent-up in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day bimble
Pronunciation: ˈbɪmb(ə)l
walk or travel at a leisurely pace