Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To lower in spirits; deject.
  • transitive v. To cause to drop or sink; lower: The drought depressed the water level in the reservoirs.
  • transitive v. To press down: Depress the space bar on a typewriter.
  • transitive v. To lessen the activity or force of; weaken: feared that rising inflation would further depress the economy.
  • transitive v. To lower prices in (a financial market).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To press down on
  • v. To make depressed, sad or bored.
  • v. To cause a depression or a decrease in parts of the economy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To press down; to cause to sink; to let fall; to lower
  • transitive v. To bring down or humble; to abase, as pride.
  • transitive v. To cast a gloom upon; to sadden.
  • transitive v. To lessen the activity of; to make dull; embarrass, as trade, commerce, etc.
  • transitive v. To lessen in price; to cause to decline in value; to cheapen; to depreciate.
  • transitive v. To reduce (an equation) in a lower degree.
  • adj. Having the middle lower than the border; concave.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To press or move downward; make lower; bring to a lower level: as, to depress the muzzle of a gun; to depress the eye.
  • To force or keep down; cause to fall to or remain in a low or lower condition; lower in vigor, amount, estimation, etc.: as, to depress stocks or the price of merchandise; business is depressed.
  • To weigh upon; lower in feeling; make dull or languid; deject.
  • To depreciate; rate meanly; belittle.
  • To repress.
  • In algebra, to reduce to a lower degree, as an equation.
  • To reduce to subjection; overpower.
  • To pardon; release; let go.
  • To cast down, discourage, dishearten, dispirit, chill, dampen.
  • Pressed down; hollow in the center; concave.

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

  • v. lessen the activity or force of
  • v. lower someone's spirits; make downhearted
  • v. cause to drop or sink
  • v. lower (prices or markets)
  • v. press down

Etymologies

Middle English depressen, to push down, from Old French depresser, from Latin dēprimere, dēpress- : dē-, de- + premere, to press.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English depressen, from Old French depresser, from Latin depressus, perfect participle of dēprimō ("to press down"), from de ("down") + premere ("to press"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • With the new load of fifth-graders, plus the fourth-graders, Schaeffler anticipates an increased number of low-performing students that may again depress average scores.

    KIPP DC leaders unworried by drop in test scores

  • With the new load of fifth graders plus the fourth graders, Schaeffler anticipates an increased number of low-performing students that may again depress average scores.

    KIPP leaders unworried by test score drop

  • As an Obama supporter, surveys like this kind of depress me.

    Zogby: Dead Heat In Pennsylvania

  • If you interview a lot of conservative Democrats, even in states like Texas, you know, New Mexico, they are very concerned that Hillary Clinton on the top of the ticket would really kind of depress voter turnout and ultimately affect a lot of down ballot races.

    CNN Transcript Apr 18, 2008

  • When we do not identify and express, and instead "depress," these feelings, the end result is the emotional fog and lethargy that people routinely label "depression."

    Americans Are In Pain

  • Just as a word such as depress can be used to talk about either physical depression or emotional depression, words such as win or lose can be used to talk about arguments, wars, gambling, and romances, with no necessary implication that any one of these domains provides the conceptual underpinning for any or all of the others.

    Idioms, Metaphors, and Lakoff, Oh My!

  • Acting on his principles, Mr. Newman refuses to "depress" his conscience (as he says) to the Bible standard.

    The Eclipse of Faith Or, A Visit To A Religious Sceptic

  • Finding that they conclusively confuted one another, and perceiving at last that the idea of the superhuman origin of Christianity did, and, as Bishop Butler says, alone can resolve all the difficulties of the subject, I was compelled to forego all the advantages of infidelity, and condescended to "depress" my conscience to the "Biblical standard"!

    The Eclipse of Faith Or, A Visit To A Religious Sceptic

  • Liberal economist Paul Krugman wrote that such measures would further "depress" the economy by slashing the federal workforce when there's not enough room in the private sector to absorb those employees.

    FOXNews.com

  • How do you get the impression this would "depress" anyone?

    Long Island Business News Products

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