verb (used with object)
- to keep under control, check, or suppress (desires, feelings, actions, tears, etc.).
- to keep down or suppress (anything objectionable).
- to put down or quell (sedition, disorder, etc.).
- to reduce (persons) to subjection.
- Psychoanalysis. to reject (painful or disagreeable ideas, memories, feelings, or impulses) from the conscious mind.
verb (used without object)
- to initiate or undergo repression.
verb (used with or without object)
- to press again or anew.
- to keep (feelings, etc) under control; suppress or restrainto repress a desire
- to put into a state of subjugationto repress a people
- psychoanal to banish (thoughts and impulses that conflict with conventional standards of conduct) from one’s conscious mind
late 14c., “to check, restrain,” from Latin repressus, past participle of reprimere “hold back, curb,” figuratively “check, confine, restrain, refrain,” from re- “back” (see re-) + premere “to push” (see press (v.1)).
Used of feelings or desires from late 14c.; in the purely psychological sense, it represents German verdrängen (Freud, 1893), first attested 1904 (implied in repressed). Meaning “to put down” (a rebellion, etc.) is from late 15c. Related: Repressed; repressing.
- To hold back by an act of volition.
- To exclude something from the conscious mind.