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90s Slang You Should Know


[uh-pres-iv] /əˈprɛs ɪv/
burdensome, unjustly harsh, or tyrannical:
an oppressive king; oppressive laws.
causing discomfort by being excessive, intense, elaborate, etc.:
oppressive heat.
distressing or grievous:
oppressive sorrows.
Origin of oppressive
1620-30; < Medieval Latin oppresīvus, equivalent to oppress(us) (see oppress) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
oppressively, adverb
oppressiveness, noun
nonoppressive, adjective
nonoppressively, adverb
nonoppressiveness, noun
self-oppressive, adjective
unoppressive, adjective
unoppressively, adverb
unoppressiveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for oppressively
Historical Examples
  • The weather was oppressively warm again on this day, and business in Ecorse was apparently not "booming."

    Ocean to Ocean on Horseback Willard Glazier
  • The room was oppressively quiet, walled in by the thick sod from the storm.

  • How oppressively sultry the air had grown, spite of the raging storm which extinguished so many torches!

    Joshua, Complete Georg Ebers
  • He knew and felt most oppressively that everything almost was against him.

    Amos Huntingdon T.P. Wilson
  • Yet even the Khalifa's methods were oppressively monotonous.

    The River War Winston S. Churchill
  • The dinner was beautifully cooked and served, and was not oppressively long.

    Home Life in Germany Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick
  • The chapel was very full, it seemed to him oppressively hot, and he felt the blood flushing his forehead.

    Spiritual Adventures Arthur Symons
  • The younger boys were troublesome, and the day oppressively hot.

    The World Before Them Susanna Moodie
  • The weather was not oppressively warm, and the journey was said to be only about seven miles.

    Wounds in the rain Stephen Crane
  • It is said to be so—to be wet, woody, and oppressively malarious.

    Man and His Migrations R. G. (Robert Gordon) Latham
British Dictionary definitions for oppressively


cruel, harsh, or tyrannical
heavy, constricting, or depressing
Derived Forms
oppressively, adverb
oppressiveness, 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 oppressively



1640s, from Medieval Latin oppressivus, from oppress-, past participle stem of opprimere (see oppress). Related: Oppressively; oppressiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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