oppressor


oppressor

verb (used with object)

  1. to burden with cruel or unjust impositions or restraints; subject to a burdensome or harsh exercise of authority or power: a people oppressed by totalitarianism.
  2. to lie heavily upon (the mind, a person, etc.): Care and sorrow oppressed them.
  3. to weigh down, as sleep or weariness does.
  4. Archaic. to put down; subdue or suppress.
  5. Archaic. to press upon or against; crush.

verb (tr)

  1. to subjugate by cruelty, force, etc
  2. to afflict or torment
  3. to lie heavy on (the mind, imagination, etc)
  4. an obsolete word for overwhelm

n.c.1400, from Old French opresseor, from Latin oppressor, from opprimere (see oppress (v.)). v.mid-14c., from Old French opresser “oppress, afflict; torment, smother” (13c.), from Medieval Latin oppressare, frequentative of Latin opprimere “press against, press together, press down;” figuratively “crush, put down, subdue, prosecute relentlessly” (in Late Latin “to rape”), from ob “against” (see ob-) + premere “to press, push” (see press (v.1)). It is the due [external] restraint and not the moderation of rulers that constitutes a state of liberty; as the power to oppress, though never exercised, does a state of slavery. [St. George Tucker, “View of the Constitution of the United States,” 1803] Related: Oppressed; oppressing.

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