[ri-presh-uh n]


the act of repressing; state of being repressed.
Psychoanalysis. the rejection from consciousness of painful or disagreeable ideas, memories, feelings, or impulses.

Origin of repression

1325–75; Middle English repressioun < Medieval Latin repressiōn- (stem of repressiō), Late Latin: suppression. See repress, -ion
Related formsnon·re·pres·sion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for repression

Contemporary Examples of repression

Historical Examples of repression

  • He beat them down again to repression; but he never afterwards knew how he did it.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • Pale, stern, composed, he stood an iron figure of repression.

    Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer

    Cyrus Townsend Brady

  • Now, there again, I think our friend overdoes the repression business.

    Love and Lucy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett

  • The first awakening is the time for the play of energy, not its repression.

    My Reminiscences

    Rabindranath Tagore

  • I cannot stand the repression—suppression—whatever you like to call it.

British Dictionary definitions for repression



the act or process of repressing or the condition of being repressed
psychoanal the subconscious rejection of thoughts and impulses that conflict with conventional standards of conductSee suppression (def. 2)
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 repression

late 14c., noun of action from repress (v.), or else from Medieval Latin repressionem (nominative repressio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin reprimere. Psychological sense is from 1908; biochemical sense is from 1957.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

repression in Medicine




The act of repressing or the state of being repressed.
The unconscious exclusion of painful impulses, desires, or fears from the conscious mind.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.