- The definition of oppress is to keep something down using cruel or unjust power.
An example of oppress is for a dictator to force the poor people of his country to work in terrible conditions for little pay.
- To oppress is to have something worry you or weigh you down.
An example of oppress is to have worry that you might be laid off from your job.
oppress definition by Webster's New World
- to weigh heavily on the mind, spirits, or senses of; worry; trouble
- to keep down by the cruel or unjust use of power or authority; rule harshly; tyrannize over
- to crush; trample down
- to overpower; subdue
Origin: Middle English oppressen ; from Old French oppresser ; from Midieval Latin oppressare ; from Classical Latin oppressus, past participle of opprimere, to press against ; from ob- (see ob-) plush premere, press
- oppressor noun
oppress definition by American Heritage Dictionary
transitive verb op·pressed, op·press·ing, op·press·es
- To keep down by severe and unjust use of force or authority: a people who were oppressed by tyranny.
- To weigh heavily on: Poverty oppresses the spirit.
- Obsolete To overwhelm or crush.
Origin: Middle English oppressen, from Old French opresser, back-formation from oppression, oppression, from Latin oppressiō, oppressiōn-, from oppressus, past participle of opprimere, to press against : ob-, against; see ob- + premere, to press; see per-4 in Indo-European roots.
- op·presˈsor noun