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  1. tending or serving to repress: repressive laws.

Origin of repressive

1375–1425; late Middle English < Medieval Latin repressīvus < Latin repress(us) (see repress) + -īvus -ive
Related formsre·pres·sive·ly, adverbre·pres·sive·ness, nounnon·re·pres·sive, adjectiveun·re·pres·sive, adjectiveun·re·pres·sive·ly, adverbun·re·pres·sive·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for repressive


  1. acting to control, suppress, or restrain
  2. subjecting people, a society, etc, to a state of subjugation
Derived Formsrepressively, adverbrepressiveness, 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

Word Origin and History for repressive


early 15c., from Middle French repressif, from Latin repress-, past participle stem of reprimere (see repress). Related: Repressively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

repressive in Medicine


([object Object])
  1. Causing or inclined to cause repression.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

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