See more synonyms for suppress on
verb (used with object)
  1. to put an end to the activities of (a person, body of persons, etc.): to suppress the Communist and certain left-leaning parties.
  2. to do away with by or as by authority; abolish; stop (a practice, custom, etc.).
  3. to keep in or repress (a feeling, smile, groan, etc.).
  4. to withhold from disclosure or publication (truth, evidence, a book, names, etc.).
  5. to stop or arrest (a flow, hemorrhage, cough, etc.).
  6. to vanquish or subdue (a revolt, rebellion, etc.); quell; crush.
  7. Electricity. to reduce or eliminate (an irregular or undesired oscillation or frequency) in a circuit.

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. 2018

Related Words for suppressive

repressive, stifling, withholding, curbing, quelling, silencing, subduing

Examples from the Web for suppressive

Contemporary Examples of suppressive

Historical Examples of suppressive

British Dictionary definitions for suppressive


  1. tending or acting to suppress; involving suppression
  2. psychiatry tending to prevent the expression of certain of one's desires or to resist the emergence of mental symptoms


verb (tr)
  1. to put an end to; prohibit
  2. to hold in check; restrainI was obliged to suppress a smile
  3. to withhold from circulation or publicationto suppress seditious pamphlets
  4. to stop the activities of; crushto suppress a rebellion
  5. electronics
    1. to reduce or eliminate (unwanted oscillations) in a circuit
    2. to eliminate (a particular frequency or group of frequencies) in a signal
  6. psychiatry
    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 suppressive



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

suppressive in Medicine


  1. To curtail or inhibit the activity of something, such as the immune system.
  2. To deliberately exclude unacceptable desires or thoughts from the mind.
  3. 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.