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[dih-pres-iv] /dɪˈprɛs ɪv/
tending to depress.
characterized by depression, especially mental depression.
a person suffering from a depressive illness.
Origin of depressive
First recorded in 1610-20; depress + -ive
Related forms
depressively, adverb
depressiveness, noun
nondepressive, adjective
nondepressively, adverb
overdepressive, adjective
overdepressively, adverb
overdepressiveness, noun
postdepressive, adjective
undepressive, adjective
undepressively, adverb
undepressiveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for depressive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In no case is the action of a stimulant followed by a depressive reaction.

    Tobacco and Alcohol John Fiske
  • Surely Callista Blake was not what his brother Jack would call a depressive type, if that word was still favored in the jargon.

  • depressive memories or ideas have associated with them a depressing and disintegrating emotional quality.

  • The last case is interesting in that a depressive onset to a deep stupor was observed in the Institute.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
  • When she was talked to, she was apt to indulge in depressive statements and show considerable distress.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
  • Although inactive and sometimes appearing dull the depressive individual is not apathetic but is suffering acutely.

    Benign Stupors August Hoch
British Dictionary definitions for depressive


tending to depress; causing depression
(psychol) tending to be subject to periods of depression See also manic-depressive
Derived Forms
depressively, adverb
depressiveness, noun
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 depressive

1610s, from Latin depress-, past participle stem of deprimere (see depress) + -ive. In psychology, from 1905.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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depressive in Medicine

depressive de·pres·sive (dĭ-prěs'ĭv)

  1. Tending to depress or lower.

  2. Depressing; gloomy.

  3. Of or relating to psychological depression.

A person suffering from psychological depression.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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