Science Dictionary
depression   (dĭ-prěsh'ən)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A geographic area, such as a sinkhole or basin, that is lower than its surroundings.

  2. A mood disorder characterized by an inability to experience pleasure, difficulty in concentrating, disturbance of sleep and appetite, and feelings of sadness, guilt, and helplessness.

  3. A reduction in the activity of a physiological process, such as respiration.

  4. A region of low atmospheric pressure. Low pressure systems result in precipitation, ranging from mild to severe in intensity. See also cyclone.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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