verb (used with object)
  1. to keep under control, check, or suppress (desires, feelings, actions, tears, etc.).
  2. to keep down or suppress (anything objectionable).
  3. to put down or quell (sedition, disorder, etc.).
  4. to reduce (persons) to subjection.
  5. Psychoanalysis. to reject (painful or disagreeable ideas, memories, feelings, or impulses) from the conscious mind.
verb (used without object)
  1. to initiate or undergo repression.

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 formsre·press·i·ble, adjectivenon·re·press·i·ble, adjectivenon·re·press·i·ble·ness, nounnon·re·press·i·bly, adverbo·ver·re·press, verb (used with object)un·re·press·i·ble, adjective
Can be confusedoppress repress

Synonyms for repress

Synonym study

1. See check1.

Antonyms for repress

1–4. foster. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for repressible

Historical Examples of repressible

British Dictionary definitions for repressible


verb (tr)
  1. to keep (feelings, etc) under control; suppress or restrainto repress a desire
  2. to put into a state of subjugationto repress a people
  3. 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 repressible



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

repressible in Medicine


  1. To hold back by an act of volition.
  2. 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.