verb (used with object)

Origin of suppress

1375–1425; late Middle English suppressen < Latin suppressus (past participle of supprimere to press down), equivalent to sup- sup- + pressus (see press1)
Related formssup·pressed·ly [suh-prest-lee, -pres-id-] /səˈprɛst li, -ˈprɛs ɪd-/, adverbsup·press·i·ble, adjectivesup·pres·sive, adjectivesup·pres·sive·ly, adverbsup·pres·sor, sup·press·er, nounnon·sup·pressed, adjectivenon·sup·pres·sive, adjectivenon·sup·pres·sive·ly, adverbnon·sup·pres·sive·ness, nounpre·sup·press, verb (used with object)qua·si-sup·pressed, adjectivere·sup·press, verb (used with object)self-sup·press·ing, adjectiveself-sup·pres·sive, adjectiveun·sup·pressed, adjectiveun·sup·press·i·ble, adjectiveun·sup·pres·sive, adjectivewell-sup·pressed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for suppress

Contemporary Examples of suppress

Historical Examples of suppress

  • Linda tried hard but she could not suppress a chuckle: "Of course you would!"

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • Isabel could not at once suppress the gratified note which crept of itself into her voice.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • I am not only to suppress the evil, but to evoke the good elements in my nature.


    Samuel Smiles

  • This growl he could not suppress; nor did the man-animal resent it by giving him a blow on the head.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • You must suppress your gratitude, and endeavour to forget my forbearance in the matter of the bracelet.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

British Dictionary definitions for suppress


verb (tr)

to put an end to; prohibit
to hold in check; restrainI was obliged to suppress a smile
to withhold from circulation or publicationto suppress seditious pamphlets
to stop the activities of; crushto suppress a rebellion
  1. to reduce or eliminate (unwanted oscillations) in a circuit
  2. to eliminate (a particular frequency or group of frequencies) in a signal
  1. to resist consciously (an idea or a desire entering one's mind)
  2. to exercise self-control by preventing the expression of (certain desires)Compare repress (def. 3)
Derived Formssuppresser, nounsuppressible, adjective

Word Origin for suppress

C14: from Latin suppressus held down, from supprimere to restrain, from sub- down + premere to press
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 suppress

late 14c., "to put down by force or authority," from Latin suppressus, past participle of supprimere "press down, stop, check, stifle," from sub "down, under" (see sub-) + premere "push against" (see press (v.1)). Sense of "prevent or prohibit the circulation of" is from 1550s. Related: Suppressed; suppressing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

suppress in Medicine




To curtail or inhibit the activity of something, such as the immune system.
To deliberately exclude unacceptable desires or thoughts from the mind.
To reduce the incidence or severity of a condition or symptom, such as a hemorrhage.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.