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Oppressive   /əprˈɛsɪv/   Listen
Oppressive

adjective
1.
Weighing heavily on the senses or spirit.  "Oppressive sorrows"
2.
Marked by unjust severity or arbitrary behavior.  Synonyms: tyrannical, tyrannous.  "Oppressive laws" , "A tyrannical parent" , "Tyrannous disregard of human rights"



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"Oppressive" Quotes from Famous Books



... Rachel's tomb, hurried to Jerusalem as fast as possible. I never was so glad to get home again before. I never have enjoyed rest as I have enjoyed it during these last few hours. The journey to the Dead Sea, the Jordan and Bethlehem was short, but it was an exhausting one. Such roasting heat, such oppressive solitude, and such dismal desolation can not surely exist elsewhere on earth. And ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... certain people, all the rest, even such as had no complaint against Athens, thought proper to side with the injured parties in a war against her. So, when the Lacedaemonians became masters and succeeded to your empire, on their attempting to encroach and make oppressive innovations a general war was declared against them, even by such as had no cause of complaint. But wherefore mention other people? We ourselves and the Lacedaemonians, although at the outset we could not allege ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern — Volume 11 • Various

... off in great spirits to join the Wallaces at the riverside cottage which they had rented for the remainder of the summer. The heat in town was already growing oppressive, and it was delightful to think of being in the country again and running free over the dear green fields. Esmeralda had presented her with quite a trousseau of summer dresses, with a selection of hair-ribbons to match, at least an inch ...
— More about Pixie • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... fields were divided by fences, neatly enough made of wood, that declared its own origin, having in fact been part of the timbers and planks of a wreck. As the whole was whitewashed, it had a rustic, and in a climate where the sun is seldom oppressive, by no ...
— The Two Admirals • J. Fenimore Cooper

... exercise over a branch of Moor's Charity School, and have obstructed the application of its fund according to the nature of the establishment and the design of the donors; and that their measures have been oppressive to your memorialist in ...
— The History of Dartmouth College • Baxter Perry Smith

... escape these oppressive laws that many emigrated to the colonies in America and established new settlements. Not only was the stream of emigration kept up by religious persecutions, but the prosperity and abundant opportunity for advancement furnished by the colonies ...
— An Introduction to the Industrial and Social History of England • Edward Potts Cheyney

... and oppressive silence. Charity, quivering with anger, started forward, and then stood silent, too humbled for speech. Harney's eyes had dropped under the old man's gaze; but he raised them presently, and looking steadily at Mr. Royall, said: "Miss Royall is ...
— Summer • Edith Wharton

... very subdued throughout the next day; his head was full of the oppressive secret, and he had no heart for new enterprises. At school his mates found him taciturn and uncompanionable, and Joel Ham was astonished at his obedience and industry. Harry Hardy returned home on the Wednesday evening, and visited Mrs. Haddon's kitchen that night. His head was swathed ...
— The Gold-Stealers - A Story of Waddy • Edward Dyson

... seats in fact were now occupied by ladies, and what with the strong perfume of violets and the exhalations of warm necks and shoulders the atmosphere was becoming most oppressive. The fans flapped more briskly, and clear laughter rang out amidst a growing hubbub of conversation in which the same words constantly recurred. Some news, doubtless, had just arrived, some rumour was being whispered from group to group, throwing ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... a long time, swelling at moments into a roar of frenzied rage, then sinking to an uneven growl, broken by spasmodic yells. On asking what it meant, I was told that a crowd of poor folk had gathered before the Municipio to demonstrate against an oppressive tax called the fuocatico. This is simply hearth-money, an impost on each fireplace where food is cooked; the same tax which made trouble in old England, and was happily got rid of long ago. But the hungry plebs of Cotrone lacked vigour for any effective self-assertion; they ...
— By the Ionian Sea - Notes of a Ramble in Southern Italy • George Gissing

... could see no sign of any kind of life. What was more portentous, the mossy sod he stood upon was frozen, and there were smears of snow among the straggling firs upon a rather higher ridge. Inland, the little breeze seemed to have fallen dead away, and there was an oppressive silence which the rumble of ...
— Hawtrey's Deputy • Harold Bindloss

... to be paid annually at Easter. Thus cut off from their ordinary modes of living, they had recourse to the clipping of money and other illegal modes of debasing the coin; and after trials, fines, and executions of the most oppressive and unjustifiable description, were finally banished ...
— Coronation Anecdotes • Giles Gossip

... within him—for the half-clad woman, who went out alone into the dark of the chilly May night. He hastily came out on the deck—it was a starlit, but moonless night; the coolness and the darkness embraced him. On the shore the golden-red pile of coals was still glimmering. Foma listened—an oppressive stillness filled the air, only the water was murmuring, breaking against the anchor chains. There was not a sound of footsteps to be heard. Foma now longed to call the woman, but he did not know her name. Eagerly inhaling the fresh air into his broad chest, he stood on deck for a few minutes. ...
— Foma Gordyeff - (The Man Who Was Afraid) • Maxim Gorky

... all round, wondering how he got there, and moved off toward the T—— bridge. He was pale and his eyes were hot, and feebleness was in all his members, but he seemed to breathe easier. He felt that he had thrown off the old time which had been so oppressive; and in its place had come peace and light. "Lord!" he prayed, "show me my way, that I may renounce these horrid thoughts ...
— The Continental Classics, Volume XVIII., Mystery Tales • Various

... larger portion of the inhabitants of Europe was chained to the soil, without freedom, or property, or knowledge; and the two orders of ecclesiastics and nobles, whose numbers were comparatively small, alone deserved the name of citizens and men. This oppressive system was supported by the arts of the clergy and the swords of the barons. The authority of the priests operated in the darker ages as a salutary antidote: they prevented the total extinction of letters, mitigated the fierceness of ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 6 • Edward Gibbon

... What place does free will hold among the nations of to-day? Patriotism has assumed an extraordinarily oppressive form. During no other age in history has it been so tyrannical and so exclusive. It devours everything. Our country, to-day, claims to rank above religion, above art, science, thought, above civilisation. ...
— The Forerunners • Romain Rolland

... the Court granted an arrest chiefly on the informality of the indictment. No man has a higher reverence for the law of England than I have; but, with all deference I cannot help thinking, that prosecution by indictment, if a defendant is never to be allowed to justify, must often be very oppressive, unless Juries, whom I am more and more confirmed in holding to be judges of law as well as of fact, resolutely interpose. Of late an act of Parliament has passed declaratory of their full right to one as well as the other, in matter of libel; and the bill having been brought in by ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 3 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... people on earth, and the chief political problem with which we are wrestling to-day is to see that that enjoyment is confirmed to them in perpetuity—not taken from them or hampered or limited by any power of an oppressive capitalism. We are spending more money, more energy, more earnest thought on the study of education as a science or art and on the endowment of educational establishments than any other people; as a result we hope that the next generation of Americans, besides being the most ...
— The Twentieth Century American - Being a Comparative Study of the Peoples of the Two Great - Anglo-Saxon Nations • H. Perry Robinson

... when the Roxbury community was dissolved and he was obliged to return to the old life of competition, he would gladly have been laid under the sod, as the isolated home seemed so solitary, silent, and selfish that the whole atmosphere was oppressive. ...
— Eighty Years And More; Reminiscences 1815-1897 • Elizabeth Cady Stanton

... through the forest. It was toilsome work, as they often had to clear a way with axes through the undergrowth and tangle of creepers. But at noon they reached level ground. The heat was now intense, even under the trees, and the air close and oppressive. On the way down Harry shot a wild turkey. When they halted, this was cut up and broiled over a fire, and after it had been eaten all lay down and slept for ...
— The Treasure of the Incas • G. A. Henty

... and looked up at me until the silence between us grew oppressive. Then with a sudden, "Oh, what's the use!" turned and hurried off. But I caught up with her ...
— We Three • Gouverneur Morris

... to get away from the Dip, and back to the manager's house, where we refreshed ourselves by a delicious cup of tea, and soon after started for a nice long drive home in the cool, clear evening air. The days are very hot, but never oppressive; and the mornings and evenings are deliciously fresh and invigorating. You can remain out late without the least danger. Malaria is unknown, and, in spite of the heavy rains, there is no such thing as damp. Our way lay through very pretty country—a series of terraces, with a range ...
— Station Life in New Zealand • Lady Barker

... hastened his son's departure, that the voyage might be made before his increasing weakness should set it aside; his parting from Maurice, therefore, he dreaded as a final one. Mrs. Costello had vaguer, but equally oppressive forebodings. She saw that in all probability a few weeks longer would find her peaceful home deserted, and herself and Lucia fugitives. Even if Maurice, transported into a new world with new interests and incalculably brighter prospects, should still retain ...
— A Canadian Heroine, Volume 1 - A Novel • Mrs. Harry Coghill

... others it was half a mile wide. When the rocks were not precipitous the sides were clothed with a luxuriant foliage, among which the birds maintained a concert of call and song. So sheltered were they that, high as it was above the sea, the heat was very oppressive; and when they reached the head of the valley, late in the afternoon, they were glad indeed of a bathe in a pool ...
— Under Drake's Flag - A Tale of the Spanish Main • G. A. Henty

... fortnight after the time when this ship crossed these parts of the Atlantic, a similar effect was produced on board the English ship Roxburgh. One of the passengers, the Rev. W. B. Clarke, says:—"The sky was overcast, and the weather thick and insufferably oppressive, though the thermometer was only 72 degrees. At 3 P.M. Feb. 4, the wind suddenly lulled into a calm; then rose from the SW. accompanied by rain, and the air appeared to be filled with dust, which ...
— The Rain Cloud - or, An Account of the Nature, Properties, Dangers and Uses of Rain • Anonymous

... of the tax were to be divided one-third to Ulster, one-third to Connaught, and the remainder between the Queen of the Monarch and the ruler of Munster. In this way all the other Provinces became interested in enforcing this invidious and oppressive enactment upon Leinster which, of course, was withheld whenever it could be refused with the smallest probability of success. Its resistance, and enforcement, especially by the kings of Munster, will be found a constant cause of civil ...
— A Popular History of Ireland - From the earliest period to the emancipation of the Catholics • Thomas D'Arcy McGee

... we have entered the sanctuary, and the alarming sensation of nature's hostility is softened. We white men like to talk about our mastery over nature, but is it not rather true that we flee from nature, as its most intense manifestations are oppressive to us? Is not the savage, living so very close to nature, more its master, or at least its friend, than we are? We need space and the sight of sun and sky to feel happy; the night of the forest, the loneliness of the ocean are terrible ...
— Two Years with the Natives in the Western Pacific • Felix Speiser

... felt the weight of this question so oppressive that they left the irritating company of Mr Bramble, and walked off and joined themselves to a group of Fourth Form fellows, who were watching the match with sulky interest, evidently sore that they had none of their men ...
— The Fifth Form at Saint Dominic's - A School Story • Talbot Baines Reed

... were none with us. The stillness of the Sabbath was over all. The gulls sailed and flapped and dipped about us. The lowering summer sun shot long golden rays athwart the green hills on either side and tinged the water calm and still. The silence grew oppressive as we glided along with scarce a ripple. We saw on the right as the only moving thing, a long, slim yacht dart out from among the bushes and steal its way up half-hidden in the shadows. Suddenly it was overtaken by either message or ...
— A Story of the Red Cross - Glimpses of Field Work • Clara Barton

... a gentleman belonging to the law, and one of the best gentlemen that ever I knew, for he was not only good to me, but I know a thousand good and charitable acts which he did while I staid with him; and I have known him often refuse business because it was paultry and oppressive." "You need not be so particular," said Allworthy; "I know this gentleman, and a very worthy man he is, and an honour to his profession."—"Well, sir," continued Partridge, "from hence I removed to Lymington, where I was above three years in the service of another lawyer, who ...
— The History of Tom Jones, a foundling • Henry Fielding

... which the capitalists made their profits, and under which the workers had to toil, were very oppressive to the workers. The hours of work at that period were from sunrise to sunset. Usually this rule, especially in the seasons of long days, required twelve, and very often fourteen and sixteen, hours a day. Yet the so-called statesmen and the pretentious cultured ...
— Great Fortunes from Railroads • Gustavus Myers

... man approached us. He was very heavy, very unwieldy, very unctuous and oppressive. He affected the "honest farmer," but so badly that the poorest husbandman would have resented it. There was a suggestion of a cheap lawyer about him that would have justified any self-respecting judge in throwing him over the bar at once. ...
— Drift from Two Shores • Bret Harte

... election. And, acting so, this political conspiracy is able to delay, mutilate or defeat sound and needed laws for the people's welfare and the prosperity of honest business and even to enact bad laws, hurtful to the people's welfare and oppressive to ...
— The Art of Public Speaking • Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein

... unearthing of the plans of the anti-trust advocates. In every city detectives are untiring in their efforts to discover the work of the Committee of Forty. It is suspected that the committee is to obtain damaging evidence against some of the most oppressive of the monopolies and bring the full story of the wholesale robbery of the people out as a climax in ...
— The Transgressors - Story of a Great Sin • Francis A. Adams

... looked to it for the progress of humanity, there came the wind of brute force: the inability of the majority to govern themselves, their venality, their corruption, their base and fearful hatred of all superiority, their oppressive cowardice, raised the spirit of revolt: the minorities of energy—every kind of minority—appealed from the majority to force. A queer, yet inevitable alliance was brought about between the royalists of the Action Francaise ...
— Jean-Christophe Journey's End • Romain Rolland

... tell you how monotonously oppressive the daily round of institution life gets to be. The only glimmer in the whole dull affair is the fact that Betsy Kindred spends four days a week with us. Betsy and I were in college together, and we do occasionally find something ...
— Dear Enemy • Jean Webster

... slowly on his way his eye, ever open to every symptom of culinary abundance, ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly Autumn. On all sides he beheld vast store of apples—some hanging in oppressive opulence on the trees, some gathered into baskets and barrels for the market, others heaped up in rich piles for the cider-press. Farther on he beheld great fields of Indian corn, with its golden ears peeping from their leafy coverts and holding out the promise of cakes ...
— The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. • Washington Irving

... Honolulu reluctantly, but tarried there joyfully. The fine climate, with its even temperature of about eighty degrees Fahrenheit, and with all that is enervating or oppressive in that degree of heat winnowed out of it by the ceaseless trade winds; the almost unbroken sunshine, perfumed now and then by a sprinkle of sunlit rain from the mountains; the wonderful sea laving the shores on the one hand and ...
— Time and Change • John Burroughs

... favoured of health resorts (especially since our good Queen Adelaide resided there), and particularly for chest complaints. But, from my own experience and that of many others (Europeans) who have resided there a long time, I can scarcely reconcile this to fact. It is exceedingly hot and oppressive in summer, the glare from the rocks and stone buildings being very injurious to the eyes, and the heat retained by the limestone during the day making the houses very close and sultry in the night. Towards autumn and winter there are violent ...
— Fair Italy, the Riviera and Monte Carlo • W. Cope Devereux

... and silence was too oppressive to be endured, so she cast about desperately for a topic of conversation. The entourage was not particularly suggestive,—four white-washed walls and the chair she was sitting on comprised the furniture. Clearly she could not take in ...
— Bluebell - A Novel • Mrs. George Croft Huddleston

... blindly in the unaccustomed glare. As the karlon bored still deeper, the living things became scarcer, but still occasional fleeting glimpses were obtained of the living nightmares which inhabited the oppressive depths of these strange seas. Continuing downward, the karlon plumbed the nethermost pit of the ocean and came to rest upon the bottom, stirring up a murk ...
— The Skylark of Space • Edward Elmer Smith and Lee Hawkins Garby

... the monotony of this strange prospect grows oppressive. I seek the engine room, and in the company of some of the few half-drowned sufferers we have already picked up from temporary rafts, I forget the general aspect of desolation in their individual misery. Later we meet the San Francisco ...
— Selected Stories • Bret Harte

... only the planning where to put tables and chairs that would have tried her today: she has had Mr. Vigors on her hands all the afternoon, and he has been—here's her little note—what are the words? No doubt 'most overpowering and oppressive;' no, 'most kind and attentive,'—different words, but, as applied to Mr. Vigors, they mean ...
— A Strange Story, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... Charles Frohman. It is pleasant, at times, to record managerial enterprise that cannot possibly be a bid for pecuniary reward. Mr. Frohman, whose name is often unfortunately mentioned in connection with the sad, cruel, oppressive, commercial speculators in dramatic "goods," belongs absolutely and utterly to another class. It is ten thousand pities that the enthusiasm and real artistic fervor of this undaunted, farseeing manager should ...
— Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 6, July 1905 • Various

... phial not being attended to, two doses of it were given after a nausea had been excited, which, with occasional vomitings, became exceedingly oppressive. A saline draught, given in Dr. Hulme's method, a draught sal. c. c. gr. xii. c. conf. card. gr. x. produced no immediate effect, but the nausea gradually abating, inf. bacc. junip. was ordered; but ...
— An Account of the Foxglove and some of its Medical Uses - With Practical Remarks on Dropsy and Other Diseases • William Withering

... the great advantage, it seems to me, that America possesses over the Old World is its material and moral plasticity. Even among the giant structures of this city, one feels that there is nothing rigid, nothing oppressive, nothing inaccessible to the influence of changing conditions. If the buildings are Cyclopean, so is the race that reared them. The material world seems as clay on the potter's wheel, visibly taking on the impress of the human spirit; and the human spirit, as embodied ...
— America To-day, Observations and Reflections • William Archer

... in fitful dashes from the southeast, began to come more steadily and swiftly after eleven o'clock, and was so warm that the snow softened to a sloppy state. The air carried a tinge of haze, and conditions were oppressive. It was labor to breathe. Never, except one deadly hot July day in New York City, have I felt so overcome with heat and choking air. Perspiration simply streamed from me. These oppressive conditions continued for ...
— Wild Life on the Rockies • Enos A. Mills

... memorable motto, "Ecrasez l'Infame," is interpreted and applied. He did not mean Jesus Christ by l'Infame; he did not mean the Christian religion by it; he did not even mean the Christian Church by it; he meant the oppressive despotism and the crass obscurantism of the Roman-Catholic hierarchy. At least, this is what he would have said that he meant, what in fact he substantially did say that he meant, when incessantly reiterating, in its various forms, his watchword, ...
— Classic French Course in English • William Cleaver Wilkinson

... though the heat pour'd down with a strength little less oppressive than at noon. Frank had accomplish'd the greater part of his journey; he was within two miles of his home. The road here led over a high, tiresome hill, and he determined to stop on the top of it and rest himself, as well as give the animal he rode a few minutes' breath. How well he ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... lower levels than we need to do. We linger in the misty and oppressive valleys, when we might be climbing the sunlit hills. God puts into our hands the Book of Life, bright on every page with open secrets, and we suffer it to drop out of our hands unread. Emerson says, ...
— Architects of Fate - or, Steps to Success and Power • Orison Swett Marden

... Ned could not see the red flag on the tower of the church of San Fernando. But he knew it was there, waving a little in the soft wind which blew out of the southwest, herald of spring. Nothing broke the silence. After so much noise, it was ominous, oppressive, surcharged with threats. Fewer lights than usual burned in the town and in the Mexican camp. All this stillness portended to Ned the coming ...
— The Texan Scouts - A Story of the Alamo and Goliad • Joseph A. Altsheler

... new and costly buildings. Senators, knights, young men of rank who had been extravagant, had been relieved by his generosity and were his pensioners. Gaul might have been impatient at its loss of liberty, but no word of complaint was heard against Caesar for oppressive government. The more genius he had shown the more formidable he was. Let him be consul, and he would be ...
— Caesar: A Sketch • James Anthony Froude

... system. They made their theology more plain to the popular apprehension. They took up Buddhistic speculations into their system. But they rendered their ceremonial practices more complex and more burdensome. Their ascetic rule grew to be more exacting and oppressive. In diffusing and making popular their system, customs, like the burning of widows, were introduced, which were not known in previous times. The divinities, Brahma, the author of all things, Vishnu the preserver, and Siva ...
— Outline of Universal History • George Park Fisher

... been less of an object of her thoughts, less of a motive for her labours, she could sooner have realized it. As it was, she followed his poor, cast-off, worn-out body as if she were borne along by some oppressive dream. If he were really dead, how could ...
— The Grey Woman and other Tales • Mrs. (Elizabeth) Gaskell

... He turned irresolutely, and they walked together down the plank pathway, Kitty with an oppressive sense of having fallen into the clutch of one of the Primal Forces, who was about to settle her destiny for her; in which she stumbled almost on the truth. Miss Muller was quite aware of the fact of her brother's ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - April, 1873, Vol. XI, No. 25. • Various

... consciences, and that no man shall be disquieted or called in question for differences of opinion in matters of religion, which do not disturb the peace of the kingdom.' Who could imagine, that, in the face of this solemn declaration, acts, the most oppressive and tyrannical, would be passed—compelling pretended uniformity in belief and real uniformity in the mode of public worship—driving the most pious and useful clergymen from their pulpits and livings—preventing ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... things are my diversion." They sat by him while he perused it, and saw his features writhing with anguish: and young Richardson said to his father, when they returned, that he hoped to be preserved from such diversion as had been that day the lot of Pope. From this time, finding his diseases more oppressive, and his vital powers gradually declining, he no longer strained his faculties with any original composition, nor proposed any other employment for his remaining life than the revisal and correction of his former works, in which he received advice and assistance from Warburton, whom he appears ...
— Lives of the English Poets: Prior, Congreve, Blackmore, Pope • Samuel Johnson

... an array of glittering poets, Shelley, Rossetti, Keats, Browning, and odd volumes of Ruskin, South Place Sermons, Socialistic publications in torn paper covers, and above, science text-books and note-books in an oppressive abundance. The autotypes that hung about the room were eloquent of aesthetic ambitions and of a certain impermeability to implicit meanings. There were the Mirror of Venus by Burne Jones, Rossetti's Annunciation, Lippi's ...
— Love and Mr. Lewisham • H. G. Wells

... pushed past, and occupied a vacant chair, between the other officers, laying his sword on the table. My eyes swept about the circle of faces seeking De Artigny, but he was not present. But for a slight shuffling of feet, the silence was oppressive. Cassion's unpleasant ...
— Beyond the Frontier • Randall Parrish

... majority of the white voters of the District are opposed to the contemplated law, that they have recently given a public expression of their opinion against it, and that for that reason it would be unjust and oppressive in Congress to pass this law. In my judgment, this is a question not concerning alone the wishes and prejudices of the seven thousand voters who dwell in this District, but involving, it may be, the ...
— History of the Thirty-Ninth Congress of the United States • Wiliam H. Barnes

... fifteen minutes slipped by without the return of either Ailsee or her father. The footfalls in the forest died away, and the stillness was becoming oppressive. ...
— The Statesmen Snowbound • Robert Fitzgerald

... monopolies had gone on continually increasing; scarce any article was exempt from these oppressive patents. When a list of them was read over in the House, a member exclaimed: "Is not bread among the number?" The House seemed amazed. "Nay," said he, "if no remedy is found for them, bread will be there before the next parliament." Every tongue seemed now unloosed, each ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 440 - Volume 17, New Series, June 5, 1852 • Various

... breeze could scarcely be felt, yet, though the sun scorched me, the heat was not oppressive. The woods, dense and tangled though they were, threw up no exhalations of mud or rotting leaves, but a clean, aromatic odour. It seemed to give them a substance without which they had been but a mirage, a scene painted on a cloth, so motionless and apparently lifeless ...
— Poison Island • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (Q)

... began to consider that several days passed thus aimlessly would be difficult to bear. I could not keep correct count of time, my watch having stopped, and there was no clock or chime of any sort in the place that I could hear. The stillness around me would have been oppressive but for the soft dash of little waves breaking on the beach below my window. All at once, to my great joy, the door of my room opened, and the personage called Honorius entered. He bent his head slightly by way of salutation, and ...
— The Life Everlasting: A Reality of Romance • Marie Corelli

... an hour did not abate for a considerable time. This, of course, was owing to the fact that there was a continuous current blowing northward in the higher regions of the atmosphere. The sun, meantime, glowed overhead with four mock-suns around him, nevertheless the heat was not oppressive, partly because the voyagers were sitting at rest, and partly because a slight current of cool air, the creation of their own progress, fanned their cheeks. Still further to add to the charm, flocks of sea-birds circling in the air or dipping in the water, a berg or two floating ...
— The Giant of the North - Pokings Round the Pole • R.M. Ballantyne

... ballast, and with nothing but vapid sweets and faded flowers on board. The profusion, indeed, of flowers and birds, which this poet had ready on all occasions, —not to mention dews, gems, etc.—was a most oppressive kind of opulence to his hearers; and had the unlucky effect of giving to his style all the glitter of the flower garden without its method, and all the flutter of the aviary without its song. In addition to this, he chose his subjects ...
— The Complete Poems of Sir Thomas Moore • Thomas Moore et al

... himself, in scattered scenes, in haphazard glimpses into the lives of his characters, in seemingly trivial conversations, has succeeded in so concentrating the atmosphere of the Russia of his day that we feel it in every line we read, oppressive as the mists that hang over a lake at dawn, and, like those mists, made visible to us by the ...
— Swan Song • Anton Checkov

... darkly tinted, strongly built man, with big brown eyes, tremendous arms, and an oppressive manner. To him Mr. Ricketty at ...
— Tin-Types Taken in the Streets of New York • Lemuel Ely Quigg

... courtesan of the Italian Renaissance, Japanese geishas, Chinese flower-girls, and Indian bayaderas, all show some not unnoble features, the breath of a free artistic existence. They have achieved—with, it is true, the sacrifice of their highest worth—an independence from the oppressive rule of man and of household duties, and a part of the feminine endowment which is so often crippled comes in them to brilliant development. Prostitution in its best form may thus offer a path by which these feminine characteristics may exert ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... channel, is more temperate in the interior, although the coasts are hot. The site of the city of Manila is hot, for it is on the coast and is low; but in its vicinity, quite near the city, there are districts and settlements much cooler, where the heat is not oppressive. The same is true of the other head of the island, opposite China, named Cagayan. The seasons of the year—winter and summer—are contrary to those in Europe; for the rains generally last in all these islands ...
— History of the Philippine Islands Vols 1 and 2 • Antonio de Morga

... like areas, the lower atmosphere is gradually heated from week to week, and, as in Australia the quivering of the air over the hot ground foreshadows the whirlwind, and in Africa the mirage threatens the simoom, so in the West Indies a continuance of close, sultry weather, an oppressive calm, precedes the hurricane. When at last the huge vortex is formed, the heated atmosphere rushes towards it from all sides, and is drained upwards in a spiral column, just as in the dust-eddy, on a gigantic scale. Unlike the air of the dust-eddy, that of the hurricane coming from the warm ...
— The Naturalist in Nicaragua • Thomas Belt

... immediate prospect, men are encouraged to give the rein to their passions, trusting that the coming ceremony will wipe out the score which they are running up so fast. On the other hand, when the ceremony has just taken place, men's minds are freed from the oppressive sense, under which they generally labour, of an atmosphere surcharged with devils; and in the first revulsion of joy they overleap the limits commonly imposed by custom and morality. When the ceremony takes place ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... Union and Criminal Amendment Bills he attempted several amendments on behalf of the working man, and was successful in some, particularly in excluding the jurisdiction of Justices of Peace from such cases in Scotland, which renders that Act less oppressive in Scotland ...
— Western Worthies - A Gallery of Biographical and Critical Sketches of West - of Scotland Celebrities • J. Stephen Jeans

... attached 65 To principles, not persons, spurn the idol They worshipp'd once. Yes, Robespierre shall fall As Capet fell! Oh! never let us deem That France shall crouch beneath a tyrant's throne, That the almighty people who have broke 70 On their oppressors' heads the oppressive chain, Will court again their fetters! easier were it To hurl the cloud-capt mountain from its base, Than force the bonds of slavery upon men Determined to be free! ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... of the new ring gave her a momentary pleasure, but she was in a mood that nothing could please her long. When she strolled into the drawing-room, everything was in spotless order, and so quiet that the stillness was oppressive. Even the fire burned with a steady, noiseless glow, without the usual crackle, and the ashes fell on the hearth with ...
— The Little Colonel's Christmas Vacation • Annie Fellows Johnston

... the common near the station, and entered the pillared aisles of the pines, the air was less oppressive, but a dun haze seemed on every side to curtain the horizon, and the stars looked bleared and tired in the breathless vault above her. A man driving two cows toward town, stared at her; then a wagon drawn by four horses rattled along, ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... businesses like telegraph, railway, and mining, must sooner or later be bought and operated out and out by public authority. Nothing had done so much to promote this conviction as the rise, procedure, and wealth of these Trusts, for from the oppressive greed of many of them no legislative regulation seemed sufficient to ...
— History of the United States, Volume 4 • E. Benjamin Andrews

... by the panic of 1819, the popular antagonism to the banks in general, and especially to the Bank of the United States, as "engines of aristocracy," oppressive to the common people, and the general discontent with the established order, had, as we have seen, produced a movement comparable to the populist agitation ...
— Rise of the New West, 1819-1829 - Volume 14 in the series American Nation: A History • Frederick Jackson Turner

... cheerful, where each herb Was in itself a meal, and every vine Rained, as it were, the beverage which makes glad The heart of man; and the ne'er unfelt sun (But rarely clouded, and when clouded, leaving His warmth behind in memory of his beams) Makes the worn mantle, and the thin robe, less Oppressive than an emperor's jewelled purple. But, here! the despots of the north appear To imitate the ice-wind of their clime, 720 Searching the shivering vassal through his rags, To wring his soul—as the bleak elements His form. And 'tis to be amongst these sovereigns My husband pants! and such ...
— The Works of Lord Byron - Poetry, Volume V. • Lord Byron

... speak to any one, I am greatly distressed, and I suffer so much that it makes me weep abundantly; for my whole desire is to be alone, and solitude comforts me, though at times I neither pray nor read, and conversation—particularly of kindred and connections—seems oppressive, and myself to be as a slave, except when I speak to those whose conversation is of prayer and matters of the soul,—in these I find comfort and joy; [4] yet these occasionally are too much for me, and I would rather not see them, but go where I might be alone: though this ...
— The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus • Teresa of Avila

... twenty-third birthday was bright and sunshiny; she had slept well, but awoke with the oppressive consciousness that a terrible hard duty lay before her. When she came down there was a serious look in her eyes which did not escape Raeburn's keen observation. He was down before her, and had been out already, for he had managed somehow to procure a lovely handful of red and white roses ...
— We Two • Edna Lyall

... signification here (nobody ever pays the least attention to the sound, however hideous), the moaning and screaming of cats is believed to bode death; and in these times folks never appear to feel too sleepy to rise at any hour and drive them away when they begin their cries.... To-night—a night so oppressive that all but the sick are sitting up—almost a panic is created in our street by a screaming of cats;—and long after the creatures have been hunted out of sight and hearing, everybody who has a relative ill with the prevailing malady ...
— Two Years in the French West Indies • Lafcadio Hearn

... the exercise of power or debased by the habit of obedience; but by the exercise of power which they believe to be illegal, and by obedience to a rule which they consider to be usurped and oppressive. ...
— American Institutions and Their Influence • Alexis de Tocqueville et al

... upon a more extensive and liberal footing. But this last observation applies rather to the traders at a distance from the capital and to their transactions than to the conduct observed at Achin, which, according to the temper and example of the reigning monarch, is often narrow, extortionary, and oppressive. Their language is one of the general dialects of the eastern islands, and its affinity to the Batta may be observed in the comparative table; but they make use of the Malayan character. In religion they are Mahometans, and having many priests, ...
— The History of Sumatra - Containing An Account Of The Government, Laws, Customs And - Manners Of The Native Inhabitants • William Marsden

... should not care to be under so great obligations to any one. The burden would be oppressive. I should be all the while wondering what more I could do, while you, too, would be afraid that the little kindnesses which now are prompted in a great measure by love would be rendered from a sense of gratitude and duty. Wouldn't it be ...
— Darkness and Daylight • Mary J. Holmes

... an insistent atmosphere of candor and fairness about this book which is engaging at first, then a little burdensome, then a trifle fatiguing, then progressively suspicious, annoying, irritating, and oppressive. It takes one some little time to find out that phrases which seem intended to guide the reader aright are there to mislead him; that phrases which seem intended to throw light are there to throw darkness; that phrases which seem intended to interpret a fact are there to misinterpret ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... friend successfully assume the lineaments of a gawk, and the deportment of a gorby, that he might evade the oppressive attentions of a companion given to gawster. The enemy whom he so adroitly dispersed bore a strong family likeness to a fraternal nuisance, whom we recently inspected, being, in fact, a new edition, on ...
— The Bed-Book of Happiness • Harold Begbie

... Russian Empire Was filled with estates Of wealthy Pomyeshchicks.[11] They lived and increased, And they let us live too. What weddings were feasted! What numbers and numbers 300 Of children were born In each rich, merry life-time! Although they were haughty And often oppressive, What liberal masters! They never deserted The parish, they married, Were baptized within it, To us they confessed, And by us they were buried. 310 And if a Pomyeshchick Should chance for some reason To ...
— Who Can Be Happy And Free In Russia? • Nicholas Nekrassov

... regarded as the sole method of establishing power; the consequence was an almost perpetual revolutionary state of affairs."[64] Again, in the next chapter, commenting on the period between 1740 and 1786: "Hungary, in fact the chief, was treated like a conquered province; subjected to the most oppressive commercial restraints, it was regarded as a colony from which Austria exacted what she could for her own advantage. The injurious consequences of this internal discord are evident." Coming to modern times we find that oppression ...
— Handbook of Home Rule (1887) • W. E. Gladstone et al.

... we dashed on with undiminished speed, when we felt the earth trembling behind us, and soon afterwards the distant bellowing mixed up with the roaring and sharper cries of other animals, were borne down unto our ears. The atmosphere grew oppressive and heavy, while the flames, swifter than the wind, appeared raging upon the horizon. The fleeter game of all kinds now shot past us like arrows; deer were bounding over the ground, in company with ...
— Travels and Adventures of Monsieur Violet • Captain Marryat

... darkness. He was hungry and thirsty, and he looked round for those fruits he had heard of; but he could see none of them at the time, and the more he sought his way out, the deeper he seemed to get into the forest. The air was very sultry and oppressive, too; he grew weary and faint, quite sick at heart, and even the limbs of his good horse seemed to be failing him, and hardly able ...
— Forgotten Tales of Long Ago • E. V. Lucas

... more womanly than I had supposed, and simpler. Even yet I don't see how you can carry this oppressive weight of advertising glory and still ...
— The Light of the Star - A Novel • Hamlin Garland

... a momentary tribute to Wentworth Higginson. Devoting himself heroically to his great work, absorbed in its duties, and bearing his oppressive responsibility as the leader of a regiment in which to a great extent are now involved the fortunes of a race, he adds another honorable name to the true chivalry of ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XII. September, 1863, No. LXXI. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... name was off the roster of the house, and till the end of the month her time was her own. The afternoon was hot and very still. Even in the cool, stone-built agency, with its windows wide and heavily shaded with awnings, the heat was oppressive. For a long time Lloyd had been shut away from fresh air and the sun, and now she suddenly decided to drive out in the City's park. She rang up her stable and ordered Lewis to put ...
— A Man's Woman • Frank Norris

... Whoever watched the course of events during the last four years of the Empire must have observed, as I did, that from the date of Napoleon's marriage with Maria Louisa the form of the French Government became daily more and more tyrannical and oppressive. The intolerable height which this evil had attained is evident from the circumstance that at the end of 1813 the Legislative Body, throwing aside the mute character which it had hitherto maintained, presumed to give a lecture to him who had ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... listen, and the moving and eloquent words of his wife at length found a willing ear. Simon's face gradually lightened up, and it seemed to him that he was now able to release his wife from an oppressive, burdensome load. ...
— Marie Antoinette And Her Son • Louise Muhlbach

... teachers and parents,—and the pupil must, of course, co-operate in their plan,—to enlarge her mental vision, to fortify her intellect against limited notions, and to strengthen her judgment. The atmosphere of the fireside is often close and oppressive; let her in her youth, breathe the free air of heaven. So will her mental constitution be invigorated and ...
— The Young Maiden • A. B. (Artemas Bowers) Muzzey

... in another interview all would be arranged according to the wishes his client had so nobly conveyed to him. Mr. Beaufort's conscience on this point was therefore set at rest. It was a dull, close, oppressive morning, upon which the remains of Catherine Morton were consigned to the grave. With the preparations for the funeral Philip did not interfere; he did not inquire by whose orders all that solemnity of mutes, and coaches, and ...
— Night and Morning, Volume 2 • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... of a more thrilling character than that of Mafeking, but if you consider the story of this little town's defence you will find, I believe, that in few other cases have difficulties of so oppressive a character been borne with greater fortitude and courage. In a large town a siege is not so wearing to the nerves as it is in a little village the size of Mafeking; and in the case of this miniature garrison the troublesomeness has been doubled by the small number ...
— The Story of Baden-Powell - 'The Wolf That Never Sleeps' • Harold Begbie

... sword in his hand, Tressilian found that a turn to the left admitted him and Hobgoblin, who followed closely, into a small, square vault, containing a smith's forge, glowing with charcoal, the vapour of which filled the apartment with an oppressive smell, which would have been altogether suffocating, but that by some concealed vent the smithy communicated with the upper air. The light afforded by the red fuel, and by a lamp suspended in an iron chain, served to show that, besides an anvil, bellows, tongs, hammers, a quantity ...
— Kenilworth • Sir Walter Scott

... the room to see that his child was "tucked up" and properly covered for the night. Finding himself in the dark, where he could not be observed, he laughed deeply and silently, his mirth all the greater because of the oppressive gravity of every one else. Then bending over, he said, as ...
— A Waif of the Mountains • Edward S. Ellis

... it was cool even at noontide, but in Dringenstadt the heat was oppressive, and in spite of the sun-blinds the glare of light ...
— Little Frida - A Tale of the Black Forest • Anonymous

... fairy table, and strolled out through the open windows into the garden. The air had grown hotter and more oppressive, the thunder louder. Frequent ...
— The Crooked House • Brandon Fleming

... talk about besides your old woman?" asked the gambler, after an oppressive silence in which Montgomery heard only the thump of ...
— The Just and the Unjust • Vaughan Kester

... opinion and expression permitted among us, and their minds and consciences have become nerveless and supine to an astonishing degree; or, if thinking and feeling, as very many do, they suffer in silence, not daring to resist the oppressive faction that has ruled them so long. Moral force and courage is not the fruit of subserviency to the principles and ideas that have gradually filled the Southern mind. No wonder that the Union sentiment ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No 3, September 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... chamber. Was the air oppressive? She opened the window and sat down by it. A soft south wind was blowing, eating away the remaining patches of snow; the sky was full of fleecy clouds. Where do these days come from in January? Why should nature be in a melting mood? Margaret instinctively would have preferred a wild ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... and small has for its first rule: Meet the inquirer more than half way. To the stranger a library is often an oppressive place, an awesome place—in his imagination. He comes in shyly; everyone appears busy, his question suddenly seems to him trivial; he won't trouble these wise and busy people with ...
— A Library Primer • John Cotton Dana

... in London to clear himself of charges preferred against him by the planters, while a Captain James was exercising authority as "President" in the island. (C.S.P. Colon., 1574-1660. pp. 313, 314.) Fload was probably the "English captain" referred to in de Poincy's memoir. His oppressive rule seems to have been felt as well by the English as by ...
— The Buccaneers in the West Indies in the XVII Century • Clarence Henry Haring

... two set forth from the house. The day was as fine as could be; there was no wind, there was no dust; the sun was not oppressive; and Mrs. Montgomery did feel refreshed and strengthened during the few steps they had to take to their ...
— The Wide, Wide World • Susan Warner

... below again is found another bed of rock salt, which averages in thickness about 90 feet. It is the lower bed of rock salt which is mined. The bottom of the mine down which I went was 330 feet below the surface, but the atmosphere was delightful, being cool and dry and not in the least oppressive. A magnificent chamber, 25 feet high and 17 acres in extent, had been dug out of the salt, and its extent could easily be gauged by the help of the candles which had been lit all round the mine. Massive pillars of salt of 10 ...
— The Harmsworth Magazine, v. 1, 1898-1899, No. 2 • Various

... century, the Turguts, a branch of the Kalmuck Tartars, unable to endure the oppressive tyranny of their rulers, trekked into Russia, and settled on the banks of the Volga. Some seventy years later, once more finding the burden of taxation too heavy, they again organized a trek upon a colossal scale. Turning their faces eastward, they spent a whole year of fearful suffering ...
— China and the Manchus • Herbert A. Giles

... sailed over the calm ocean, the surface just rippled by a gentle breeze, generally so much in our favour that we were able to rig out our big square sail, and to carry a topmast studding-sail. Though it was near the line the heat was not very oppressive, unless when the wind fell altogether, and then it was hot. Though I speak of the ocean being calm, there was always a perceptible swell, more perceptible when we were on the weather-side of a coral reef, against which the swell, finding an impediment ...
— The Cruise of the Dainty - Rovings in the Pacific • William H. G. Kingston

... think how little I had foreseen when Soviet Russia was compelled last year to sign an oppressive peace with Germany, that the time would come when they would be trying to buy peace from ourselves. As I went out I saw another unhappy figure, unhappy for quite different reasons. Angelica Balabanova, after dreaming all her life of socialism in the most fervent Utopian spirit, had come ...
— Russia in 1919 • Arthur Ransome

... alluring in May and June, had become an oppressive weight to those most sensitive to the weather, and as the air grew chill and the skies overcast, the women turned with apprehensive faces to the untracked northwest, out of which the winds swept pitilessly cold and ...
— The Moccasin Ranch - A Story of Dakota • Hamlin Garland

... could have done it. But when the Czechs did it, a Slavic, Russian-speaking people gained control of a city that gladly welcomed their intervention. The same idea explains their marvelous success in Russia. Having braved death rather than fight Russians, the Czechs can now fight oppressive Russian elements without having their motives misunderstood or ...
— World's War Events, Volume III • Various

... all the rest of the table furniture, sir; though I suppose these muscle-men will not have much use for any but the oyster-knives, as I am informed they eat with their fingers. I declare it is quite oppressive and unhuman to have such ...
— Homeward Bound - or, The Chase • James Fenimore Cooper

... Russia during the eighteenth century, the Turks lost nearly all their European possessions in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The subject peoples had kept their national traditions and customs and from time to time they aimed at independence. The Turkish rule was oppressive and at times its methods were barbarous. If there had been no jealousies among the great European powers, it is probable that Russia would have occupied Constantinople long ago. The other powers, fearing this might make Russia too strong, interfered on several occasions to prevent such an occupation. ...
— A School History of the Great War • Albert E. McKinley, Charles A. Coulomb, and Armand J. Gerson

... sufferings and his own danger, he pointed the revolver at its side and again fired. The crash in the confined hole was tremendous—so awful that the professor thought the weapon must have burst. The struggles of the tiger became more violent than ever, and its weight more oppressive as the earth crumbled away. Again the cold perspiration broke out all over the man, and he ...
— Blown to Bits - The Lonely Man of Rakata, the Malay Archipelago • R.M. Ballantyne

... shall be said in any country in the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive; the rational world is my friend, because I am the friend of its happiness: when these things can be said, then may that country boast its constitution and ...
— The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete - With Index to Volumes I - IV • Thomas Paine

... the way?" insisted Ricardo with an affectation of incredulity which Heyst accepted calmly, though the air in the room seemed to grow more oppressive ...
— Victory • Joseph Conrad

... action, the tone of the system is greatly impaired, and it responds more feebly to the influence of curative agents. Tobacco itself, when its use becomes habitual and excessive, gives rise to the most unpleasant and dangerous pathological conditions. Oppressive torpor, weakness or loss of intellect, softening of the brain, paralysis, nervous debility, dyspepsia, functional derangement of the heart, and diseases of the liver and kidneys are not uncommon consequences of the excessive employment of this ...
— The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English • R. V. Pierce

... development. The result of his numerous wars had been the extension of his frontiers, and the subjugation of various nations; these latter welcomed the Spaniards with eagerness, thinking that their dominion must surely be less oppressive and less cruel than that ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part I. The Exploration of the World • Jules Verne

... men, besides two clerks and four midshipmen. It was pretty close stowing, when all hands except those on watch were below, and the atmosphere, redolent of tobacco-smoke and rum, was occasionally somewhat oppressive. As the brig had been some time in commission, the greater part of the glass and crockery had disappeared. There were a few plates of different patterns, which were eked out with platters, saucers, and two or three wooden ...
— Paddy Finn • W. H. G. Kingston

... from Great Britain was justified. "Taxation without representation is tyranny." This famous aphorism of James Otis, although sufficient for the occasion when it was put forth, expresses but a fragment of the principle, because government can be oppressive through means of many appliances besides that of taxation. The true principle is, that all government over persons deprived of any voice in such government, is tyranny. That is the principle of the Declaration of Independence. We were slow in allowing its application to ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... this Paris Pandemonium, or City of All the Devils!—And yet the Night, as Mayor Petion walks here in the Tuileries Garden, 'is beautiful and calm;' Orion and the Pleiades glitter down quite serene. Petion has come forth, the 'heat' inside was so oppressive. (Roederer, Chronique de Cinquante Jours: Recit de Petion. Townhall Records, &c. in Hist. Parl. xvi. 399-466.) Indeed, his Majesty's reception of him was of the roughest; as it well might be. And now there is no outgate; Mandat's blue Squadrons turn you back at every Grate; nay the Filles-Saint-Thomas ...
— The French Revolution • Thomas Carlyle

... a powerful aristocracy, nor is it possible to conceive one apparently more oppressive. They are ruthless tyrants; they habitually inflict upon their subjects punishments more grievous than the slave population of our colonies were ever visited with; not content with beating them with sticks or flogging them with knotted ropes, they are in ...
— Sybil - or the Two Nations • Benjamin Disraeli

... when the president took the chair with a grave, solemn countenance. This countenance told the deputies of the people that the president had an important and very unusual message to communicate, and a deep stillness, an oppressive silence, overspread the whole assemblage as the president rose from his ...
— The Empress Josephine • Louise Muhlbach

... incidents of the prophet's call and the incidents between the first and the second captivities; they then denounce those nations that had part in the destruction of Jerusalem and those that had been bitter and oppressive in their dealings with Israel and Judah; they close with messages of comfort and cheer for the exiled people; (2) Daniel. (3) Lamentations. Besides a portion of the book of Jeremiah and probably of ...
— The Bible Period by Period - A Manual for the Study of the Bible by Periods • Josiah Blake Tidwell

... travelling for an interminable time, but it was barely eleven o'clock. I sat down to eat, and the thought occurred to me that this would make a good camping place, if necessary, for it was quite warm at such a depth below the surface of the hills, and my fur coat had begun to feel oppressive. I felt drowsy, too, and somehow, before I was aware of any fatigue, I ...
— Jacqueline of Golden River • H. M. Egbert



Words linked to "Oppressive" :   domineering, oppressiveness, heavy, tyrannical, oppress



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