Definition of oppressive adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//əˈpresɪv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈpresɪv//
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  1. 1treating people in a cruel and unfair way and not giving them the same freedom, rights, etc. as other people oppressive laws an oppressive regime The political situation has grown increasingly oppressive.
  2. 2(of the weather) extremely hot and unpleasant and lacking fresh air synonym stifling oppressive heat
  3. 3making you feel unhappy and anxious synonym stifling an oppressive relationship The silence between them started to grow oppressive.
  4. Word Originlate 16th cent.: from medieval Latin oppressivus, from oppress- ‘pressed against’, from the verb opprimere.Extra examples The heat seemed even more oppressive than ever. They found the heat very oppressive. Black people continue to bear the brunt of racial violence and oppressive policing. Her views are certainly oppressive to a large number of disabled people. The refugees were fleeing from oppressive social and political conditions. a repressive/​an oppressive regime
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: oppressive