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[ri-pres-iv] /rɪˈprɛs ɪv/
tending or serving to repress:
repressive laws.
Origin of repressive
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Medieval Latin repressīvus < Latin repress(us) (see repress) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
repressively, adverb
repressiveness, noun
nonrepressive, adjective
unrepressive, adjective
unrepressively, adverb
unrepressiveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for repressive
  • So there's a repressive aspect to this that may need to be reconsidered down the road.
  • Thank goodness some of the scientists were able to get their word out in spite of this repressive administration.
  • He seemed lost without a repressive regime to undermine, disconnected if the conversation didn't revolve around politics.
  • repressive political cultures and other factors make martyrdom central to the movements there, but they might not be so unique.
  • Burke was strongly in favor of repressive measures at home, including the silencing of all dissent.
  • Submitting to the repressive regime of marriage, then, is an enactment in miniature of a larger and more tragic social conformity.
  • In the hands of a repressive government it can be a great evil.
  • Not easy to say, because both outcomes-liberating or repressive-are possible.
  • The atmosphere inside the cell blocks is increasingly tense, exacerbated by repressive tactics and mutual incomprehension.
  • Any old insecure, repressive nation can outlaw insults to its cherished symbols, and many do.
British Dictionary definitions for repressive


acting to control, suppress, or restrain
subjecting people, a society, etc, to a state of subjugation
Derived Forms
repressively, adverb
repressiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for repressive

early 15c., from Middle French repressif, from Latin repress-, past participle stem of reprimere (see repress). Related: Repressively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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repressive in Medicine

repressive re·pres·sive (rĭ-prěs'ĭv)
Causing or inclined to cause repression.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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