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

  • transitive v. To hold back by an act of volition: couldn't repress a smirk.
  • transitive v. To put down by force, usually before total control has been lost; quell: repress a rebellion.
  • transitive v. Psychology To exclude (painful or disturbing memories, for example) automatically or unconsciously from the conscious mind.
  • transitive v. Biology To block (transcription of a gene) by combination of a protein to an operator gene.
  • intransitive v. To take repressive action.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. The act of subduing.

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

  • v. block the action of
  • v. put down by force or intimidation
  • v. conceal or hide
  • v. 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-4 in Indo-European roots.



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  • Holmes does this sometimes, according to Watson.

    June 18, 2012

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • "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