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oppression

[uh-presh-uh n]
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noun
  1. the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner.
  2. an act or instance of oppressing or subjecting to cruel or unjust impositions or restraints.
  3. the state of being oppressed.
  4. the feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically, by troubles, adverse conditions, anxiety, etc.
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Origin of oppression

1300–50; Middle English oppressioun < Middle French < Latin oppressiōn- (stem of oppressiō) a pressing down, equivalent to oppress(us) (see oppress) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsnon·op·pres·sion, nounpre·op·pres·sion, nounself-op·pres·sion, noun

Synonyms

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1. tyranny, despotism, persecution. 3, 4. hardship, suffering.

Antonyms

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

Examples from the Web for oppression

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • His self-mastery is the gift of his creator, and oppression, only, can take it away.

  • The demon of oppression had hidden her head ashamed, and fled to her den!

  • Some sense of oppression, of impending evil, hung over them both.

    The Film of Fear

    Arnold Fredericks

  • The world was full of oppression, and envy, and drunkenness, and vain pleasures.

  • The fact that Godolphin was slain, it must be confessed, was not in itself the source of his oppression.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini


British Dictionary definitions for oppression

oppression

noun
  1. the act of subjugating by cruelty, force, etc or the state of being subjugated in this way
  2. the condition of being afflicted or tormented
  3. the condition of having something lying heavily on one's mind, imagination, etc
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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 oppression

n.

mid-14c., "cruel or unjust use of power or authority," from Old French opression (12c.), from Latin oppressionem (nominative oppressio) "a pressing down; violence, oppression," noun of action from past participle stem of opprimere (see oppress). Meaning "action of weighing on someone's mind or spirits" is from late 14c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper