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[dih-pres] /dɪˈprɛs/
verb (used with object)
to make sad or gloomy; lower in spirits; deject; dispirit.
to lower in force, vigor, activity, etc.; weaken; make dull.
to lower in amount or value.
to put into a lower position:
to depress the muzzle of a gun.
to press down.
Music. to lower in pitch.
Origin of depress
1275-1325; Middle English depressen < Anglo-French, Old French depresser < Latin dēpressus pressed down (past participle of dēprimere, equivalent to de- de- + -primere, combining form of premere to press); see pressure
Related forms
depressible, adjective
depressibility, noun
overdepress, verb (used with object)
undepressible, adjective
1. dishearten, discourage, sadden. See oppress. 3. devalue, cheapen.
4. raise, elevate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for depress
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They may be necessary—as buffers—but they depress us by their dulness.

    Mountain Meditations L. Lind-af-Hageby
  • It only needed a great shock to depress him to make his case hopeless.

    Sir Brook Fossbrooke, Volume I. Charles James Lever
  • Wade did not depress the muzzle, if I recollect aright, at all.

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens
  • Her manner at the same time seemed to depress him and yet to fill him with hope.

    Mr. Grex of Monte Carlo E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • Alone of all superiors, the saint does not depress the human dignity of others.

    A Short History of England

    G. K. Chesterton
  • That truth should not comfort the conservative nor depress the radical.

    A Preface to Politics

    Walter Lippmann
  • Not even the fact that there were no caddies left and I had to carry my own clubs could depress me.

    Once a Week Alan Alexander Milne
British Dictionary definitions for depress


verb (transitive)
to lower in spirits; make gloomy; deject
to weaken or lower the force, vigour, or energy of
to lower prices of (securities or a security market)
to press or push down
to lower the pitch of (a musical sound)
(obsolete) to suppress or subjugate
Derived Forms
depressible, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French depresser, from Latin dēprimere from de- + premere to press1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for depress

early 14c., "put down by force," from Old French depresser, from Late Latin depressare, frequentative of Latin deprimere "press down," from de- "down" (see de-) + premere "to press" (see press (v.1)).

Meaning "push down physically" is from early 15c.; that of "deject, make gloomy" is from 1620s; economic sense of "lower in value" is from 1878. Related: Depressed; depressing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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depress in Medicine

depress de·press (dĭ-prěs')

  1. To lower in spirits; deject.

  2. To cause to drop or sink; lower.

  3. To press down.

  4. To lessen the activity or force of something.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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