Adjective "oppressive" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Inflicting harsh and authoritarian treatment.
  1. 'Examples of the oppressive and repressive treatment of women abound.'
  2. 'No, this won't be a naval skirmish with some oppressive foreign dictator.'
  3. 'In many cases oppressive authorities actively prevent normal migration processing from occurring.'
  4. 'Does the coercive and oppressive treatment of weaving children differ only by degree from the treatment of all carpet weavers?'
  5. 'It's ironic that so many people use a patriarchal and racist ideology to critique what they think is an engine of oppressive authority.'
  6. 'We would be tragic heroes, battling the unjustness of an oppressive society.'
  7. 'I hated the unjust, oppressive system so, in my twenties, I fled the country illegally to seek truth and freedom in the West.'
  8. 'He threw out an estimate that perhaps two cents from every litre of gas we buy goes to support a dictatorship or other oppressive forms of government.'
  9. 'Whatever oppressive tactics the authorities use, we should not let them stop us protesting and expressing our anger about their atrocities.'
  10. 'He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime.'
  11. 'the offices present an oppressive atmosphere'
  12. 'It may feel somewhat oppressive for those readers who don't mind a crazy wife in the attic but ultimately prefer to see intelligent love conquer all.'
  13. 'The same oppressive atmosphere pervades the town of Soham.'
  14. 'Critics and audiences alike reviled it for its oppressive atmosphere and the direction in which it took the Alien franchise.'
  15. 'The building radiated an oppressive atmosphere, loaded with the anguish of men and women facing death.'
  16. 'Wig also found that, on top of the normal pressure of call center work, the atmosphere was very oppressive.'
  17. 'When Hetty gets the good news, she packs a rucksack full of books and heads for Wordsworth country to escape the oppressive atmosphere at home.'
  18. 'Also, one has to brave crowds of tourists, loud music and a generally oppressive high-tech atmosphere to get to the classical section.'
  19. 'The feeling that we have to sort it all out in our minds and make judgments about it can be quite oppressive.'
  20. 'There is very little dialogue in the film, furthering the, at times, oppressive silence weighing upon the viewer.'
  21. 'This brought a heavily oppressive silence into the room.'
(of weather) close and sultry.
  1. 'Some people love hot weather, but I find it oppressive and stifling and generally unpleasant.'
  2. 'You want to come stay in Tel Aviv one of these days, now that's oppressive weather.'
  3. 'The oppressive weather we've had this past week makes me want to sleep all day.'
  4. 'Fog, wet and oppressive, like gauze on a camera lens, softens edges off in the distance.'
  5. 'Freak hailstorms will victimize the prairies while oppressive heat waves cook southern Ontario.'
  6. 'The collecting itch urged Smith further and further afield, helped along by Houston's oppressive summer weather.'
  7. 'The sun rose, becoming oppressive as we traveled through the chain of islands.'
  8. 'All the Tests lasted a full five days and were attended by a sizeable crowd despite stifling security, oppressive weather and poor facilities at the venues.'
  9. 'Beneath the hot and sticky oppressive atmosphere of the venue, Jon pushed his way past the bobbing bodies toward the bar.'
  10. 'One can easily imagine the oppressive heat being dispelled by a sudden smattering of rain, as an iron smoothes a wrinkled cloth.'


1. burdensome, unjustly harsh, or tyrannical: an oppressive king; oppressive laws.

2. causing discomfort by being excessive, intense, elaborate, etc.: oppressive heat.

3. distressing or grievous: oppressive sorrows.

More examples(as adjective)

"views can be oppressive to people."

"views can be oppressive to numbers."

"views can be oppressive in ways."

"thoughts can be oppressive at times."

"tabooses can be oppressive as structures."

More examples++


Late 16th century: from medieval Latin oppressivus, from oppress- ‘pressed against’, from the verb opprimere (see oppress).