- 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
Related Wordsmoisture, evaporation, humidity, dampness, oppressiveness, heaviness, thickness, dew, wet, sultriness, steam, clamminess, wetness, dankness, vaporization, stickiness, swelter
Examples from the Web for oppressiveness
In its times of least oppressiveness it was an enormity, if he were innocent.Sir Walter Ralegh
He got the feeling of being expected to contribute to the oppressiveness of the occasion.Fidelity
For a moment the stillness seemed tangible in its oppressiveness.Phases of an Inferior Planet
In order to give you a faint idea of the oppressiveness of our etiquette, I shall mention a few examples.Letters of a Javanese Princess
Raden Adjeng Kartini
He had no doubt of the oppressiveness of Republican rule, and the need of shaking it off by vigorous measures.The Negro and the Nation
George S. Merriam
- 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
Word Origin and History for oppressiveness
1640s, from Medieval Latin oppressivus, from oppress-, past participle stem of opprimere (see oppress). Related: Oppressively; oppressiveness.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper