repressing


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re·press

 (rĭ-prĕs′)
v. re·pressed, re·press·ing, re·press·es
v.tr.
1. To hold back or prevent by an act of volition: couldn't repress a smirk.
2.
a. To put down or subdue by force: repress a rebellion.
b. To end, limit, or restrain, as by intimidation or other action: repress a heresy; repress inflation.
3. Psychology To exclude (painful or disturbing memories, for example) automatically or unconsciously from the conscious mind.
4. Biology
a. To prevent (the transcription of a gene or the synthesis of a protein) by the combination of a protein with an operator gene.
b. To prevent or limit the synthesis of (a protein).
v.intr.
To take repressive action.

[Middle English repressen, from Latin reprimere, repress- : re-, re- + premere, to press; see per- in Indo-European roots.]

re·press′i·bil′i·ty n.
re·press′i·ble adj.
Usage Note: Repress and suppress have similar meanings, but there are subtle differences that are worth paying attention to. Both share the general sense of holding back or subduing something, but repress suggests keeping something under control to maintain or regulate order, while suppress suggests a more active curtailment, an active fight against an opposing force. Thus, The government repressed the rebellion implies that the government always maintained control and that the rebellious forces never posed a serious threat to governmental power before being put down, while The government suppressed the rebellion suggests that a significant rebellion was under way and that the government had to react strongly to put an end to it. Similarly, one might repress (rather than suppress) a smirk in order to maintain a serious appearance, and one would take a medicine that suppresses (rather than represses) a cough in order to reduce its severity. · Both words also see use in psychology, and here a similar distinction prevails. Repress generally means "to exclude painful or disturbing memories automatically or unconsciously from the conscious mind." Suppress means "to exclude unacceptable desires or thoughts deliberately from the mind." Using repress to express a conscious effort, as in For years he tried to repress his frightful memories, is thus incorrect.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.repressing - restrictive of action; "a repressive regime"; "an overly strict and inhibiting discipline"
restrictive - serving to restrict; "teenagers eager to escape restrictive home environments"
References in classic literature ?
He could not have dropped from the sky, or come all that way alone: it must be either his master, the rat-catcher, or somebody else that had brought him; so, repressing my extravagant caresses, and endeavouring to repress his likewise, I looked round, and beheld--Mr.
It has been delightful to me to watch his advances towards intimacy, especially to observe his altered manner in consequence of my repressing by the cool dignity of my deportment his insolent approach to direct familiarity.
To which purpose serveth the opening, and well-balancing of trade; the cherishing of manufactures; the banishing of idleness; the repressing of waste, and excess, by sumptuary laws; the improvement and husbanding of the soil; the regulating of prices of things vendible; the moderating of taxes and tributes; and the like.
Lastly, let princes, against all events, not be without some great person, one or rather more, of military valor, near unto them, for the repressing of seditions in their beginnings.
"But I've said so already, so why repeat it?" Anna suddenly interrupted him with an irritation she could not succeed in repressing. "No sort of necessity," she thought, "for a man to come and say good-bye to the woman he loves, for whom he was ready to ruin himself, and has ruined himself, and who cannot live without him.
It was rather too late in the day to set about being simpleminded and ignorant; but she left her with every previous resolution confirmed of being humble and discreet, and repressing imagination all the rest of her life.