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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Denying or repressing sorrow often seems the easiest way out when confronted with death.
▪ For years the inhabitants of these islands have been repressed by the colonizers.
▪ Individuals who repress their sexual desires often suffer from psychological problems.
▪ It's a cruel and vicious regime that represses all opposition.
▪ Other nations condemned the ruler for repressing dissent.
▪ Either he had genuinely repressed what he knew or he refused to acknowledge it.
▪ Not all that is unconscious is repressed, although all that is repressed is unconscious.
▪ Some tendencies in human behaviour were encouraged, others repressed, and the results were both pleasant and unpleasant.
▪ Their professional pride is to provide information, not repress it.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Repress \Re*press"\ (r?-pr?s"), v. t. [Pref. re- + press.] To press again.


Repress \Re*press"\ (r?-pr?s"), v. t. [Pref. re- + press: cf. L. reprimere, repressum. Cf. Reprimand.]

  1. To press back or down effectually; to crush down or out; to quell; to subdue; to supress; as, to repress sedition or rebellion; to repress the first risings of discontent.

  2. Hence, to check; to restrain; to keep back.

    Desire of wine and all delicious drinks, . . . Thou couldst repress.

    Syn: To crush; overpower; subdue; suppress; restrain; quell; curb; check.


Repress \Re*press"\, n. The act of repressing. [Obs.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

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)).\n

\nUsed 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.


n. The act of repressing. vb. 1 To press again. 2 To forcefully prevent an upheaval from developing further. 3 Hence, to check; to keep back.

  1. v. put down by force or intimidation; "The government quashes any attempt of an uprising"; "China keeps down her dissidents very efficiently"; "The rich landowners subjugated the peasants working the land" [syn: quash, keep down, subdue, subjugate, reduce]

  2. conceal or hide; "smother a yawn"; "muffle one's anger"; "strangle a yawn" [syn: smother, stifle, strangle, muffle]

  3. put out of one's consciousness [syn: suppress]

Usage examples of "repress".

Shadow is not the only archetype to be repressed and projected, however.

Jinny was comparing him to an ancient cartoon character who was a cringing bootlicker, a toady, a completely repressed monosexual, and an unrequited lover.

If so, it seems plausible that repressed, unconscious, and preconscious mental processes that simply happen to be unconscious may, with training, be brought into the light of introspective awareness.

The effort required to control the instrument of a well-tuned garden is sufficient to repress quotidian worries and anxieties, but this anodyne property is not the principal goal of the gardener, who must be more devoted to creating a garden than to using it.

Or, feeling sexually rebuffed by his sweetheart and repressing his pain out of a sense of humiliation, a youth may account to himself for his depression by the thought that no one understands him.

Or, repressing her guilt over an infidelity, a wife can explain her tension and irritability by the thought that her husband takes no interest in her or their home.

Is my psychological anguish due solely or even primarily to repressing the libido?

It was a higher emergence used for altogether rude purposes, turning everything into objects of the monological gaze, and severing, alienating, repressing the rich communions that allowed its agency to function in the first place.

While the dreams will invariably point to this phenomenon when it is happening, it is ironically often the case that people will sit and talk about the needs of the body while at the same time repressing the physical tension and fatigue.

The subject only succeeded in the past in repressing the unserviceable instinct because he himself was at that time still imperfectly organised and feeble.

The flip side of the structure that resists foreign powers is itself a dominating power that exerts an equal and opposite internal oppression, repressing internal difference and opposition in the name of national identity, unity, and security.

Power, or forces of social oppression, function by imposing binary structures and totalizing logics on social subjectivities, repressing their difference.

The movements of the multitude have to be allowed to extend always wider across the world scene, and the attempts at repressing the multitude are really paradoxical, inverted manifestations of its strength.

The purport of his request was, that Henry, besides repressing superstitious ceremonies, should be extremely vigilant in preventing fornication and common swearing.

On the whole, Nyerere succeeded in averting the rise of a middle class, though the consequence of repressing economic activity was not shared progress, but shared stagnation.