Depress means to lessen the activity or power of something. If you want to depress the spread of poverty, you need to find ways to slow it down, like by bringing education and skill-building resources into the poorest communities.

The word depress comes from the Old French word depresser, meaning "put down by force." Depress can be used literally to describe something you push down, like when you depress the handle on a toaster to lower the bread. It can also describe a more figurative lowering, such as the lowering of a person's emotional state. Attending a funeral is likely to depress you, and watching a sad movie afterwards will just sink your spirits even more.

Definitions of depress

v press down

Depress the space key”
press down
Type of:
displace, move
cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense

v cause to drop or sink

“The lack of rain had depressed the water level in the reservoir”
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

v lessen the activity or force of

“The rising inflation depressed the economy”
Type of:
lessen the strength of

v lower (prices or markets)

“The glut of oil depressed gas prices”
Type of:
bring down, get down, let down, lower, take down
move something or somebody to a lower position

v lower someone's spirits; make downhearted

“These news depressed her”
cast down, deject, demoralise, demoralize, dismay, dispirit, get down
elate, intoxicate, lift up, pick up, uplift
fill with high spirits; fill with optimism
depress or discourage
Type of:
deprive of courage or hope; take away hope from; cause to feel discouraged

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