oppression

Oppression is when a person or group in a position of power controls the less powerful in cruel and unfair ways. Not cool.

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” Those words came from Frederick Douglass, a former slave who devoted his life to ending the oppression of black people at the hands of powerful white slaveowners. The Latin root means “pressed against,” and oppression feels like hands pressing your head, keeping you down. Oppression can be widespread throughout a culture, or felt by a single individual, like enduring the sun’s oppression on a hot summer day.

Definitions of oppression
  1. noun
    the act of subjugating by cruelty
    “the tyrant's oppression of the people”
    synonyms: subjugation
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    type of:
    persecution
    the act of persecuting (especially on the basis of race or religion)
  2. noun
    the state of being kept down by unjust use of force or authority: "after years of oppression they finally revolted"
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    types:
    yoke
    an oppressive power
    type of:
    subjection, subjugation
    forced submission to control by others
  3. noun
    a feeling of being oppressed
    synonyms: oppressiveness
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    types:
    weight
    an oppressive feeling of heavy force
    type of:
    depression
    sad feelings of gloom and inadequacy
Word Family