Words related to depress


active word-forming element in English and in many verbs inherited from French and Latin, from Latin de "down, down from, from, off; concerning" (see de), also used as a prefix in Latin, usually meaning "down, off, away, from among, down from," but also "down to the bottom, totally" hence "completely" (intensive or completive), which is its sense in many English words.

As a Latin prefix it also had the function of undoing or reversing a verb's action, and hence it came to be used as a pure privative — "not, do the opposite of, undo" — which is its primary function as a living prefix in English, as in defrost (1895), defuse (1943), de-escalate (1964), etc. In some cases, a reduced form of dis-.

*per- (4)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to strike," an extended sense from root *per- (1) "forward, through."

It forms all or part of: compress; depress; espresso; express; impress (v.1) "have a strong effect on the mind or heart;" imprimatur; imprint; oppress; oppression; pregnant (adj.2) "convincing, weighty, pithy;" press (v.1) "push against;" pressure; print; repress; reprimand; suppress.

depressant (n.)

"a sedative," 1876; see depress + -ant. From 1887 as an adjective, "having the quality of depressing."

depressed (adj.)

c. 1600, "pressed down, lowered," past-participle adjective from depress (v.). Meaning "dejected, lowered in spirits" is from 1620s.

depressing (adj.)

"having the quality of lowering the spirits, dispiriting," 1789, present-participle adjective from depress (v.). Related: Depressingly.

depression (n.)

c. 1400 as a term in astronomy, "angular distance of a star below the horizon," from Old French depression (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin depressionem (nominative depressio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin deprimere "to press down, depress" (see depress).

The literal sense "act of pressing down, state of being pressed down" is attested from 1650s. The meaning "dejection, state of sadness, a sinking of the spirits" is from early 15c. (as a clinical term in psychology, from 1905); meteorological sense is from 1881 (in reference to barometric pressure); meaning "a lowering or reduction in economic activity" was in use by 1826; given a specific application (with capital D-) by 1934 to the one that began worldwide in 1929. For "melancholy, depression" an Old English word was grevoushede.

A melancholy leading to desperation, and known to theologians under the name of 'acedia,' was not uncommon in monasteries, and most of the recorded instances of medieval suicides in Catholicism were by monks. [W.E.H. Lecky, "A History of European Morals," 1869]
depressive (adj.)

"able or tending to depress," 1610s, from Latin depress-, past-participle stem of deprimere (see depress) + -ive. In psychology, from 1905. Related: Depressiveness.

depressor (n.)

"one who or that which depresses or pushes down," 1610s, from Latin depressor, agent noun from deprimere "to press down, depress" (see depress). By 1874 as "surgical instrument for pressing down a part of the body."