repress

Whether you're repressing a feeling, an idea or even a revolution you're almost always going to be taking advantage of the press in repress. To repress something is to "press it down" where it can't be seen, heard or even recognized.

Psychologists often try to help people recover memories that they've repressed so that they can feel free of them once and for all. What makes repress different from press is that repress is almost always used when you're talking about an idea, concept or something intangible. In other words, you repress, say, your emotions. You don't repress olives to get olive oil. However, you can repress someone or some group by intimidating them — like repressing the protesters by sending out cops on horseback.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: repress

1
v
conceal or hide
2
v
put down by force or intimidation
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: repress
1

v conceal or hide

Synonyms:
muffle, smother, stifle, strangle
Type of:
conquer, curb, inhibit, stamp down, subdue, suppress
to put down by force or authority

v put out of one's consciousness

Synonyms:
suppress
Types:
swallow
keep from expressing
Type of:
bury, forget
dismiss from the mind; stop remembering
2

v put down by force or intimidation

Synonyms:
keep down, quash, reduce, subdue, subjugate
Type of:
crush, oppress, suppress
come down on or keep down by unjust use of one's authority

v block the action of

Type of:
change
undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature
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