Definition of oppressive in English:


Line breaks: op¦pres|sive
Pronunciation: /əˈprɛsɪv


1Inflicting harsh and authoritarian treatment: an oppressive dictatorship
More example sentences
  • Examples of the oppressive and repressive treatment of women abound.
  • Does the coercive and oppressive treatment of weaving children differ only by degree from the treatment of all carpet weavers?
  • They found government harsh and oppressive, complaining of the disparities between the rich and poor.
1.1Weighing heavily on the mind or spirits: the offices present an oppressive atmosphere
More example sentences
  • This brought a heavily oppressive silence into the room.
  • There is very little dialogue in the film, furthering the, at times, oppressive silence weighing upon the viewer.
  • When Dan Parks dropped a goal for a 12-6 lead in the 57th minute, an already seething atmosphere became oppressive.
overwhelming, overpowering, hard to bear, unbearable, burdensome, unendurable, intolerable, heavy;
uncomfortable, grinding
2(Of weather) close and sultry: the day was sunless and oppressive
More example sentences
  • All the Tests lasted a full five days and were attended by a sizeable crowd despite stifling security, oppressive weather and poor facilities at the venues.
  • The oppressive weather we've had this past week makes me want to sleep all day.
  • You want to come stay in Tel Aviv one of these days, now that's oppressive weather.


late 16th century: from medieval Latin oppressivus, from oppress- 'pressed against', from the verb opprimere (see oppress).



More example sentences
  • Hanoi is oppressively hot in July and August but pleasant in October and November, while Ho Chi Minh City's rainy season typically lasts from May to November.
  • And it has been incredibly, horribly, oppressively hot.
  • Anyway, as we know, the word ‘sultry’ isn't confined to describing oppressively hot and damp weather.


More example sentences
  • She reveals the oppressiveness of housework evident in the series, an unusual viewpoint at a time when heroines in other books were learning to sew and cook.
  • Heavily influenced by French romanticism, Lanusse's poetry in Les Cenelles highlights love, death, and both the pleasures and the general oppressiveness of life.
  • But in America, he suffered under the oppressiveness of Jim Crow, which forced his oversized personality into a more humble version for his white colleagues.

Definition of oppressive in: