From Middle English oppressen, from Old French oppresser, from Medieval Latin oppressare (“to press against, oppress”), frequentative of Latin opprimere, past participle oppressus (“to press against, press together, oppress”), from ob (“against”) + premere, past participle pressus (“to press”); see press.
- (transitive) To keep down by unjust force.
- The rural poor were oppressed by the land-owners.
- (transitive) To make sad or gloomy.
- We were oppressed by the constant grey skies.
- (transitive, obsolete) Physically to press down on (someone) with harmful effects; to smother, crush.
- oppress in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- oppress in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911