- to burden with cruel or unjust impositions or restraints; subject to a burdensome or harsh exercise of authority or power: a people oppressed by totalitarianism.
- to lie heavily upon (the mind, a person, etc.): Care and sorrow oppressed them.
- to weigh down, as sleep or weariness does.
- Archaic. to put down; subdue or suppress.
- Archaic. to press upon or against; crush.
Origin of oppress
Synonyms for oppress
Antonyms for oppress
Examples from the Web for unoppressed
Historical Examples of unoppressed
What is it to me that my people are contented, rich, and unoppressed?Kophetua the Thirteenth
German beer is protected by law, and unoppressed by taxation.Greifenstein
F. Marion Crawford
All these women looked to be unoppressed, fullblown, freely developed.Recollections Of My Childhood And Youth
Doomed men rise and go about their daily duties as unoppressed, often, as those whose paths know no shadow.Abraham Lincoln, Volume 2 (of 2)
William H. Herndon
- to subjugate by cruelty, force, etc
- to afflict or torment
- to lie heavy on (the mind, imagination, etc)
- an obsolete word for overwhelm
Word Origin for oppress
mid-14c., from Old French opresser "oppress, afflict; torment, smother" (13c.), from Medieval Latin oppressare, frequentative of Latin opprimere "press against, press together, press down;" figuratively "crush, put down, subdue, prosecute relentlessly" (in Late Latin "to rape"), from ob "against" (see ob-) + premere "to press, push" (see press (v.1)).
It is the due [external] restraint and not the moderation of rulers that constitutes a state of liberty; as the power to oppress, though never exercised, does a state of slavery. [St. George Tucker, "View of the Constitution of the United States," 1803]
Related: Oppressed; oppressing.