An oppressor is any authority (a group or a person) that uses its power unjustly to keep people under control. Many rebellious teenagers view their parents as oppressors, but the word is usually used to refer to dictators.

While you might complain about your oppressor, the teacher who makes you stay late to catch up on assignments you missed, a true oppressor denies basic human rights to people who live under their control. Before Partition in 1947, the citizens of India mostly viewed their British rulers as oppressors — in some cases, Indian farmers were forced by the British to grow non-food crops, causing thousands to starve. The Latin root is opprimere, "to crush or subdue."

Definitions of oppressor
  1. noun
    a person of authority who subjects others to undue pressures
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    authoritarian, dictator
    a person who behaves in a tyrannical manner
    meanie, meany, unkind person
    a person of mean disposition
    switcher, whipper
    a person who administers punishment by wielding a switch or whip
    persecutor, tormenter, tormentor
    someone who torments
    someone who inflicts severe physical pain (usually for punishment or coercion)
    Big Brother
    an authoritarian leader and invader of privacy
    flogger, scourger
    a torturer who flogs or scourges (especially an official whose duty is to whip offenders)
    a persistent tormentor
    disciplinarian, martinet, moralist
    someone who demands exact conformity to rules and forms
    blighter, cuss, gadfly, pest, pesterer
    a persistently annoying person
    tantaliser, tantalizer
    someone who tantalizes; a tormentor who offers something desirable but keeps it just out of reach
    someone who identifies and punishes people for their opinions
    type of:
    disagreeable person, unpleasant person
    a person who is not pleasant or agreeable
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