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.

Nearby words

  1. oppositional disorder,
  2. oppositionist,
  3. oppress,
  4. oppressed,
  5. oppression,
  6. oppressively,
  7. oppressor,
  8. opprobrious,
  9. opprobrium,
  10. oppugn

Origin of oppressive

1620–30; < Medieval Latin oppresīvus, equivalent to oppress(us) (see oppress) + -īvus -ive

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for oppressively

British Dictionary definitions for oppressively



cruel, harsh, or tyrannical
heavy, constricting, or depressing
Derived Formsoppressively, adverboppressiveness, noun

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 oppressively



1640s, from Medieval Latin oppressivus, from oppress-, past participle stem of opprimere (see oppress). Related: Oppressively; oppressiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper