repress

[ ri-pres ]
/ rɪˈprɛs /

verb (used with object)

to keep under control, check, or suppress (desires, feelings, actions, tears, etc.).
to keep down or suppress (anything objectionable).
to put down or quell (sedition, disorder, etc.).
to reduce (persons) to subjection.
Psychoanalysis. to reject (painful or disagreeable ideas, memories, feelings, or impulses) from the conscious mind.

verb (used without object)

to initiate or undergo repression.

Nearby words

  1. representational,
  2. representationalism,
  3. representative,
  4. representatives,
  5. representatives, house of,
  6. repressed,
  7. represser,
  8. repressible enzyme,
  9. repression,
  10. repressive

Origin of repress

1325–75; Middle English repressen < Latin repressus (past participle of reprimere), equivalent to re- re- + pressus, past participle of primere to press1

Related forms
Can be confusedoppress repress

Synonym study

1. See check1.

re-press

[ ree-pres ]
/ ˈriˈprɛs /

verb (used with or without object)

to press again or anew.

Origin of re-press

First recorded in 1870–75; re- + press1

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

Examples from the Web for repress


British Dictionary definitions for repress

repress

/ (rɪˈprɛs) /

verb (tr)

to keep (feelings, etc) under control; suppress or restrainto repress a desire
to put into a state of subjugationto repress a people
psychoanal to banish (thoughts and impulses that conflict with conventional standards of conduct) from one's conscious mind
Derived Formsrepresser, nounrepressible, adjective

Word Origin for repress

C14: from Latin reprimere to press back, from re- + premere to press 1

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 repress

repress

v.

late 14c., "to check, restrain," from Latin repressus, past participle of reprimere "hold back, curb," figuratively "check, confine, restrain, refrain," from re- "back" (see re-) + premere "to push" (see press (v.1)).

Used of feelings or desires from late 14c.; in the purely psychological sense, it represents German verdrängen (Freud, 1893), first attested 1904 (implied in repressed). Meaning "to put down" (a rebellion, etc.) is from late 15c. Related: Repressed; repressing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for repress

repress

[ rĭ-prĕs ]

v.

To hold back by an act of volition.
To exclude something from the conscious mind.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.