Also found in: Thesaurus.


1. Exercising power arbitrarily and often unjustly; tyrannical.
2. Difficult to cope with; causing hardship or depressed spirits: oppressive demands. See Synonyms at burdensome.
3. Hot and humid; sweltering: an oppressive heat wave.

op·pres′sive·ly adv.
op·pres′sive·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.oppressiveness - a feeling of being oppressed
depression - sad feelings of gloom and inadequacy
weight - an oppressive feeling of heavy force; "bowed down by the weight of responsibility"
2.oppressiveness - unwelcome burdensome difficulty
difficultness, difficulty - the quality of being difficult; "they agreed about the difficulty of the climb"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
ظُلْم، جَوْر، اسْتِبْداد


Unterdrückung f(of durch); (of taxes)(er)drückende Last
(fig)bedrückende Atmosphäre; (of thought)schwere Last; (of heat, climate)Schwüle f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


(əˈpres) verb
1. to govern cruelly. The king oppressed his people.
2. to worry or depress. The thought of leaving her oppressed me.
opˈpression (-ʃən) noun
After five years of oppression, the peasants revolted.
opˈpressive (-siv) adjective
oppressing; cruel; hard to bear. oppressive laws.
opˈpressively adverb
opˈpressiveness noun
opˈpressor noun
a ruler who oppresses his people; a tyrant.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
They writhed feverishly under the oppressiveness of an emotion thrust on them by cruel Nature's law--an emotion which they had neither expected nor desired.
There was a brooding oppressiveness in the air that seemed to bode something.
But the mystery and oppressiveness vanished after the first few seconds of waking, when I identified the missing something as the wind.
The country as a whole was really increasing in prosperity; Edward was fostering trade, and the towns and some of the town-merchants were becoming wealthy; but the oppressiveness of the feudal system, now becoming outgrown, was apparent, abuses in society and state and church were almost intolerable, and the spirit which was to create our modern age, beginning already in Italy to move toward the Renaissance, was felt in faint stirrings even so far to the North as England.
It's late Saturday morning at the Nong Ho race track in Chiang Mai and the scorching summer sun beams down with its usual intensity and oppressiveness on the spectators about to enter the grandstand.
Congress has ruled this nation for sixty years but is unable to bring change as it always involved in misconduct, corruption and oppressiveness."
How many times have I seen an American expert pointing to a satellite photo of the Korean Peninsula at night and remarking that the striking difference between the darkness the envelops North Korea and the bright lights that illuminate South Korea, as well as Japan, symbolizes the insularity, the oppressiveness and the pathetically backwards economic state of the North.
Will the dark shadows taunt us and the oppressiveness of the Porter's room reveal hidden spirit presences?
His defiant verse must be read by imagining its context - that of a poet who was fully aware of the consequences of each public performance; and that of a person who had been incarcerated in brutal conditions, and would, after being released, immediately call attention to the oppressiveness of his interlocutors, and ready himself for another period in prison.
As suggested in the title The Virtue of Nationalism, Hazony sees this type of regime as the happy medium between the primitiveness of tribalism on the one hand and the oppressiveness of imperialism on the other.
Gazdar believes that Nawab Bugti was hospitable, straightforward and honor bound; at the same time, he had features of ruthlessness, cruelty and oppressiveness. He led a life of hard bargainer and soft tribal chief.
Grey strikes us as instantly charming because, despite the oppressiveness of his world, he strives to be a better person.