- to keep under control, check, or suppress (desires, feelings, actions, tears, etc.).
- to keep down or suppress (anything objectionable).
- to put down or quell (sedition, disorder, etc.).
- to reduce (persons) to subjection.
- Psychoanalysis. to reject (painful or disagreeable ideas, memories, feelings, or impulses) from the conscious mind.
- to initiate or undergo repression.
Origin of repress
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- to press again or anew.
Origin of re-press
Examples from the Web for repress
Krampus makes manifest the shadow sides of human nature that Christianity seeks to repress.Meet Krampus, the Seriously Bad Santa
December 5, 2014
The deal with the Iranian government will give them a free hand to repress activists and keep political prisoners behind bars.How America’s Nuclear Deal Sold Out Iran’s Liberals
David Keyes & Ahmad Batebi
December 3, 2013
Saudi Arabia wanted to establish an Islamic state in Afghanistan and repress Shia (it wants the same in Syria today).Will Arming Syrian Rebels Lead to Disaster?
June 15, 2013
Also, expect attempts to repress it by those in power—who stand to directly lose the most.The Taste of Freedom
May 17, 2012
Of course Saddam Hussein tended to repress or kill most of his opponents.Donald Rumsfeld on What Went Right
February 8, 2011
She was quite unable to repress a vulgar interest in the menials that served her.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
The older man could not repress a cold smile—it had had more effect than he had hoped.The Monster Men
Edgar Rice Burroughs
At the sight of it Frank could not repress an exclamation of astonishment.Frank Roscoe's Secret
She was unable to repress a glance of admiration at me as she moved off.Ruggles of Red Gap
Harry Leon Wilson
Struggling to repress my tears, I said no more, but passed out, cut to the heart.The First Violin
- to keep (feelings, etc) under control; suppress or restrainto repress a desire
- to put into a state of subjugationto repress a people
- psychoanal to banish (thoughts and impulses that conflict with conventional standards of conduct) from one's conscious mind
Word Origin and History for repress
late 14c., "to check, restrain," from Latin repressus, past participle of reprimere "hold back, curb," figuratively "check, confine, restrain, refrain," from re- "back" (see re-) + premere "to push" (see press (v.1)).
Used of feelings or desires from late 14c.; in the purely psychological sense, it represents German verdrängen (Freud, 1893), first attested 1904 (implied in repressed). Meaning "to put down" (a rebellion, etc.) is from late 15c. Related: Repressed; repressing.
- To hold back by an act of volition.
- To exclude something from the conscious mind.