from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To hold back or prevent by an act of volition.
  • intransitive verb To put down or subdue by force.
  • intransitive verb To end, limit, or restrain, as by intimidation or other action.
  • intransitive verb Psychology To exclude (painful or disturbing memories, for example) automatically or unconsciously from the conscious mind.
  • intransitive verb To prevent (the transcription of a gene or the synthesis of a protein) by the combination of a protein with an operator gene.
  • intransitive verb To prevent or limit the synthesis of (a protein).
  • intransitive verb To take repressive action.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To press back or down effectually; crush; quell; put down; subdue; suppress.
  • To check; restrain; keep under due restraint.
  • Synonyms To curb, smother, overcome, overpower.
  • 1 and Restrict, etc. See restrain.
  • noun The act of subduing.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To press again.
  • noun obsolete The act of repressing.
  • transitive verb To press back or down effectually; to crush down or out; to quell; to subdue; to supress
  • transitive verb Hence, to check; to restrain; to keep back.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The act of repressing.
  • verb To press again.
  • verb To prevent forcefully an upheaval from developing further.
  • verb Hence, to check; to keep back.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb block the action of
  • verb put down by force or intimidation
  • verb conceal or hide
  • verb put out of one's consciousness


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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


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  • "But regimes that repress the civil and human rights of half their population are inherently unstable. Sooner or later, there has to be a backlash. In Iran, we're watching one unfold."

    —Anne Appelbaum, "Woman Power," Slate, June 22, 2009 (seen here)

    June 24, 2009

  • Is there any regime that has lasted forever? What is the longest continuing government in the world? Pretty much every country I can think of in Europe has abandoned the monarchy in the last two hundred years. Most of Asia has undergone significant changes since World War I (or II). Africa can't have that many stable regimes, most have probably been overturned in the last half century. One could argue that all governments are inherently unstable.

    June 25, 2009

  • It's an article with a very weak central premise, which in any case doesn't make much of a broader point about regimes.

    June 25, 2009

  • There is such a thing as stable governments, or as you prefer, "regimes." I think the article does have a point, but if you don't, that's fine. I was just posting a usage, anyway.

    June 25, 2009

  • Holland, Sweden, Denmark, England and Spain haven't abandoned their monarchies and they've all been key players in the development of the EC and then EU. Even monarchies though can have their periods of instability.

    It's not clear what you are implying about instability. If Bush/McCain is voted out and Obama voted in, is that necessarily instability simply because it is not 'continuing government' in the sense of having the same party & leader? The organs of state continue to function as a more or less seamless transition is made from the old to the new.

    One of the more specious arguments in defense of the current Australian system (constitutional monarchy) is that we have had 'continuous stable government since 1901', thereby implying that another system could not have achieved this.

    June 26, 2009

  • Holmes does this sometimes, according to Watson.

    June 18, 2012