What does oppressive mean?

Definitions for oppressive
əˈprɛs ɪvop·pres·sive

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word oppressive.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. oppressiveadjective

    weighing heavily on the senses or spirit

    "the atmosphere was oppressive"; "oppressive sorrows"

  2. oppressive, tyrannical, tyrannousadjective

    marked by unjust severity or arbitrary behavior

    "the oppressive government"; "oppressive laws"; "a tyrannical parent"; "tyrannous disregard of human rights"


  1. Oppressiveadjective

    Heavy; overpowering; hard to be borne; creating a sense of heavy burden; as, oppressive grief or woe; oppressive heat or humidity; an oppressive workload.


  1. oppressiveadjective

    Burdensome or difficult to bear.

    The oppressive tax laws made it difficult to start a small company.

  2. oppressiveadjective

    Tyrannical or exercising unjust power.

    The oppressive land-owners kept a grip on the labourers.

  3. oppressiveadjective

    Weighing heavily on the spirit; intense, or overwhelming

    Will the oppressive heat of summer never end?

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Oppressiveadjective

    Etymology: from oppress.

    Alicia, reach thy friendly arm,
    And help me to support that feeble frame,
    That nodding totters with oppressive woe,
    And sinks beneath its load. Nicholas Rowe, Jane Shore.


  1. oppressive

    Oppressive refers to being burdensome, harsh, or unfairly severe, often through the unjust exercise of authority or power. It entails a system, situation, or behavior that treats people cruelly or unfairly, especially by denying them their basic rights. In a broader sense, it can also represent something that is overwhelming or mentally, physically, or emotionally distressing.

How to pronounce oppressive?

How to say oppressive in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of oppressive in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of oppressive in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of oppressive in a Sentence

  1. Ryan Mauro:

    Islamic State wants to redefine feminism by characterizing Western society as oppressive towards women, they choose to highlight women to show that their ideology treats women fairly as equals in jihad.

  2. Commissioner James O'Neill:

    What happened should not have happened, the actions taken by the NYPD were wrong, plain and simple. The actions and the laws were discriminatory and oppressive, and for that, I apologize.

  3. President Barack Obama:

    That's an area where there's just not enough national consensus at this stage to even consider it. And part of it is is people's concern that that becomes a prelude to taking people's guns away, part of the challenge of this is that the gun debate gets wrapped up in broader debates about whether the federal government is oppressive and there are conspiracy theories floating around the Internet these days all the time.

  4. Nancy Northup:

    If this oppressive law takes effect, it will decimate abortion access in Texas -- and that's exactly what it is designed to do, the state has put a bounty on the head of any person or entity who so much as gives a patient money for an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, before most people know they are pregnant. Worse, it will intimidate loved ones from providing support for fear of being sued.

  5. Chad Wolf:

    This administration talks a lot about asylees and needing to protect individuals that are being persecuted, and I think of all the countries we see, at least in this hemisphere, except for maybe Venezuela, Cuba is probably the most oppressive government we have, so the question is why are they not allowing folks from Cuba to resettle in the U.S. like they are folks from Guatemala when the asylum claim from Cuba is likely greater.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for oppressive

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for oppressive »


Find a translation for the oppressive definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"oppressive." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 16 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/oppressive>.

Discuss these oppressive definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for oppressive? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    the highest point (of something)
    A integrity
    B tranquillity
    C accommodation
    D apex

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for oppressive: