- 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
Word Origin and History for non-oppressive
1640s, from Medieval Latin oppressivus, from oppress-, past participle stem of opprimere (see oppress). Related: Oppressively; oppressiveness.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper