top of page



How to pronounce oppressive (audio)


Monster Trucks in Space

Dictionary definition of oppressive

Exerting power and control over others in a way that is unjust and limiting their freedom.
"She felt trapped in an oppressive and controlling relationship."


Detailed meaning of oppressive

Oppression is the use of force, power, or authority to maintain the status quo, to prevent change and to control the behavior of others. It can take many forms, including physical, economic, political, social, and cultural. Oppression can be exerted by individuals, groups, or institutions, and it can be directed at individuals or groups based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or other characteristics. Oppression can be experienced in a variety of ways, including through discrimination, marginalization, and violence. Oppression can be seen in many forms of inequality and injustice, such as poverty, lack of access to education and healthcare, and lack of political representation. Oppression can be systemic and institutionalized, meaning it's deeply embedded in the social, political and economic systems, it can be felt by certain groups of people and it is not easy to change or eliminate. Oppression can have serious consequences for individuals and communities, including physical and mental health problems, and it can lead to feelings of powerlessness, hopelessness and despair.

Example sentences containing oppressive

1. The regime's oppressive rules stifled our voices.
2. His oppressive leadership silenced all opposition.
3. In oppressive systems, freedom is a distant dream.
4. She felt trapped under the oppressive rule, voiceless.
5. Their oppressive gaze made the entire room uneasy.
6. The king’s oppressive reign lasted for decades.

History and etymology of oppressive

The adjective 'oppressive' finds its origins in the Latin word 'opprimere,' which is a combination of 'ob,' meaning 'against,' and 'premere,' meaning 'to press' or 'to squeeze.' In essence, 'oppressive' is rooted in the idea of exerting force or pressure against something. Over time, this term evolved to describe situations where power and control are used in a way that is unjust and restrictive, often limiting the freedom and rights of individuals or groups. It conveys the notion of a heavy and suffocating influence, where those in authority suppress the rights and liberties of others. The etymology of 'oppressive' thus reflects its fundamental meaning of using force or authority to unjustly restrain and limit individuals or societies.

Quiz: Find the meaning of oppressive

Try Again!


Further usage examples of oppressive

1. Children suffered under the oppressive school regime.
2. The oppressive government censored every media outlet.
3. Oppressive laws are stripping away our basic rights.
4. He escaped the oppressive environment of his childhood.
5. The oppressive heat mirrored society's suffocation.
6. Under the oppressive rule, fear permeated the air.
7. She fought against the oppressive norms valiantly.
8. Workers united to challenge oppressive workplace conditions.
9. We're organizing a rally against oppressive policies.
10. Oppressive management caused a drop in employee morale.
11. An oppressive silence lingered after the harsh verdict.
12. The citizens rebelled against the oppressive ruler's tyranny.
13. In those oppressive walls, creativity was a myth.
14. Oppressive traditions held the village in a firm grip.
15. They lived under the shadow of oppressive surveillance.
16. Freedom faded in the wake of oppressive governance.
17. We wore masks to protest the oppressive regime.
18. In oppressive societies, voices of dissent are rare.
19. Artists depict oppressive realities through powerful imagery.
20. They endured years of oppressive treatment in silence.
21. The novel depicted a dystopian, oppressive future world.
22. The oppressive law was finally overturned by activists.
23. They were weary and broken from oppressive rule.
24. Even in oppressive silence, hope whispered rebellion.



tyrannical, liberating, permissive, lenient


Authority and Control, Dominance and Supremacy, Power and Control

bottom of page