American English

Definition of oppressive adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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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 government The political situation has grown increasingly oppressive.
  2. 2(of the weather) extremely hot and unpleasant and lacking fresh air oppressive heat
  3. 3making you feel unhappy and anxious an oppressive relationship The silence between them started to grow oppressive.
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adverb to behave oppressively oppressively hot He suffered from an oppressively dominant mother.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: oppressive