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verb (used with object)
  1. to make sad or gloomy; lower in spirits; deject; dispirit.
  2. to lower in force, vigor, activity, etc.; weaken; make dull.
  3. to lower in amount or value.
  4. to put into a lower position: to depress the muzzle of a gun.
  5. to press down.
  6. Music. to lower in pitch.
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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 formsde·press·i·ble, adjectivede·press·i·bil·i·ty, nouno·ver·de·press, verb (used with object)un·de·press·i·ble, adjective

Synonyms for depress

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1. dishearten, discourage, sadden. See oppress. 3. devalue, cheapen.

Antonyms for depress

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for depress

dismay, discourage, slow, dampen, dispirit, sadden, disturb, bother, upset, afflict, reduce, lower, dishearten, damp, daunt, trouble, sap, dull, weaken, impair

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Contemporary Examples of depress

Historical Examples of depress

British Dictionary definitions for depress


verb (tr)
  1. to lower in spirits; make gloomy; deject
  2. to weaken or lower the force, vigour, or energy of
  3. to lower prices of (securities or a security market)
  4. to press or push down
  5. to lower the pitch of (a musical sound)
  6. obsolete to suppress or subjugate
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Derived Formsdepressible, adjective

Word Origin for depress

C14: from Old French depresser, from Latin dēprimere from de- + premere to press 1
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 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

depress in Medicine


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