tyrannized over; oppressed: the downtrodden plebeians of ancient Rome.
trampled upon.

Also down·trod.

Origin of downtrodden

First recorded in 1560–70; down1 + trodden
Related formsdown·trod·den·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for downtrodden

Contemporary Examples of downtrodden

Historical Examples of downtrodden

  • In the first place, she was a poor, downtrodden woman; in the second, she was their broker.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • He was an arrant coward like the most of his downtrodden race.

    Tess of the Storm Country

    Grace Miller White

  • From ind to ind of the land, the downtrodden serfs of Ireland are rising in their millions.

    My New Curate

    P.A. Sheehan

  • The German Yorick was the champion of the oppressed and downtrodden.

    Laurence Sterne in Germany

    Harvey Waterman Thayer

  • He was badly dressed, and bore a sad, depressed, downtrodden aspect.

    The Vicar of Bullhampton

    Anthony Trollope

British Dictionary definitions for downtrodden




subjugated; oppressed
trodden down; trampled
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 downtrodden

1560s, "stepped on," from down (adv.) + trodden. Figurative use, "oppressed," is from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper