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depression Line breaks: de|pres¦sion
Pronunciation: /dɪˈprɛʃ(ə)n/

Definition of depression in English:


1 [mass noun] Feelings of severe despondency and dejection: self-doubt creeps in and that swiftly turns to depression
More example sentences
  • Tiredness might have played its part, but the sense of dejection and depression emanating from the studio clouded the whole broadcast.
  • We are too prone to judge ourselves by our moments of despondency and depression.
  • We're staying several steps ahead of gloom, despair, deep dark depression, and excessive misery.
the slough of despond;
informal the dumps, the doldrums, the blues, one's black dog, a low
North American informal the blahs, a funk, a blue funk
informal, , dated the mopes
technical clinical depression, endogenous depression, reactive depression, postnatal depression, dysthymia, melancholia
literary dolour
archaic the megrims
1.1 Psychiatry A mental condition characterized by feelings of severe despondency and dejection, typically also with feelings of inadequacy and guilt, often accompanied by lack of energy and disturbance of appetite and sleep: she was referred by a psychiatrist treating her for depression
More example sentences
  • A small number of people suffer from depression so severe that they may need to be admitted to hospital.
  • Jo took him to a psychologist who prescribed medication for depression.
  • Seeing a counselor for depression is not something to be ashamed of any more than seeing a physician for a physical ailment.
2A long and severe recession in an economy or market: the depression in the housing market
More example sentences
  • They have developed a close relationship between stock market crashes and the economic recessions and depressions that follow them.
  • According to him, the original estimate did take into account periodic recessions and depressions in the stock market.
  • Just as the mass extinctions were associated with climatic shifts, depressions and recessions often reflect changing economic conditions.
recession, slump, decline, downturn, slowdown, standstill;
paralysis, inactivity, stagnation, credit crunch, credit squeeze;
hard times, bad times
technical stagflation
2.1 (the Depression or the Great Depression) The financial and industrial slump of 1929 and subsequent years.
3 [mass noun] The action of lowering something or pressing something down: depression of the plunger delivers two units of insulin
More example sentences
  • Slight depression of the clutch stops the tractor's forward motion, while full depression stops the PTO action.
  • Emergency braking techniques are taught at an early stage of driver training and require rapid and forceful depression of the brake pedal and then the clutch pedal.
  • The control signal or input for brake release may therefore be generated or relate to accelerator depression, clutch engagement or gear selection.
3.1 [count noun] A sunken place or hollow on a surface: the original shallow depressions were slowly converted to creeks
More example sentences
  • The presence of shallow depressions in the ground surface allows time for water to percolate into the soil and reduces the volume and speed of flow across the slope.
  • The stone includes a depression on its concave surface where the practitioner's finger was inserted in order to assist in applying force.
  • The images relayed from the probe were not much more exciting - some low hills and surface depressions.
4 Meteorology A region of lower atmospheric pressure, especially a cyclonic weather system: hurricanes start off as loose regions of bad weather known as tropical depressions
More example sentences
  • Rainfall in the savannah region usually arrives between November and April in heavy bursts from monsoonal depressions or tropical cyclones.
  • The most significant features of the wet season are thunderstorms, tropical cyclones and rain depressions.
  • Cyclonic weather with a depression centred over the UK can cause unsettled conditions in both winter and summer.
5 Astronomy & Geography The angular distance of an object below the horizon or a horizontal plane.
Example sentences
  • Angular depressions at the base of siltstone laminae represent casts of halite that was dissolved by lower-salinity waters that introduced silt.
  • After sunset, as the depression of the sun increases the sky gets darker and darker until no scattered light reaches the observer.
  • Thus various stages of twilight are defined in terms of the solar depression angle, in degrees.


Late Middle English: from Latin depressio(n-), from deprimere 'press down' (see depress).

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