Etymology
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downtrodden (adj.)

1560s, "stepped on, trampled upon," from down (adv.) + past participle of tread (v.). Figurative sense of "oppressed, tyrannized" is from 1590s. To tread down in the sense of "overcome, destroy" is from late 12c. 

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Definitions of downtrodden

downtrodden (adj.)
abused or oppressed by people in power;
From wordnet.princeton.edu