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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Among other repressive measures he was instructed to deprive mere housekeepers of the suffrage and limit it to freeholders.

    Give Me Liberty Thomas J. Wertenbaker
  • The repressive system may check unruliness, but can never influence for good.

    Criminal Man Gina Lombroso-Ferrero
  • Nothing did so much damage to religion as the obstinate adherence to a negative, repressive, and coercive course.

  • But of government only as a directing and repressive power.'

    Socialism As It Is William English Walling
  • Epigram breaks out the more for repressive legislation; it is like steam in an engine without a safety-valve.

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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