- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- cruel, harsh, or tyrannical
- heavy, constricting, or depressing
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
1640s, from Medieval Latin oppressivus, from oppress-, past participle stem of opprimere (see oppress). Related: Oppressively; oppressiveness.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper