the act of .
the state of being .
a or sunken place or part; an area lower than the surrounding surface.
sadness; gloom; dejection.
Psychiatry. a condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal; sadness greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason.
Compare .
dullness or inactivity, as of trade.
Economics. a period during which business, employment, and stock-market values decline severely or remain at a very low level of activity.
the Depression, .
Pathology. a low state of vital powers or functional activity.
Astronomy. the angular distance of a celestial body below the horizon; negative altitude.
Surveying. the angle between the line from an observer or instrument to an object below either of them and a horizontal line.
Physical Geography. an area completely or mostly surrounded by higher land, ordinarily having interior drainage and not conforming to the valley of a single stream.
Meteorology. an area of low atmospheric pressure.
Contemporary Examples

They talked about her depression, weight loss, and a fistfight with her boyfriend.
Inside a Supermodel’s Suicide Peter Davis November 22, 2009

And while revenues went up, well, revenues to the federal government have gone up in every decade since the depression.
Ryan on Kennedy (and Reagan) (Oh: and the One He Didn’t Mention) Michael Tomasky October 11, 2012

Adrift in senility and depression, Hitchcock is dismantling his life, putting it away.
Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days David Freeman December 12, 2014

This was a love story between a man with bipolar disease and a woman with depression.
Silver Linings Playbook’s Silver Lining–Honest Talk About Mental Illness Michelle Raimo Kouyate, Renee Witt February 17, 2013

Such restructurings helped deal with the debt buildup during World War I and the depression.
This Country Needs Inflation David Frum April 25, 2013

Historical Examples

On the nervous system it acts as a pleasant stimulant and restorative, its moderate use not being followed by depression.
Cooley’s Practical Receipts, Volume II Arnold Cooley

In my lifetime—in depression and in war—they have awaited our defeat.
United States Presidents’ Inaugural Speeches Various

Not before in many years had I felt such a depression of the spirits.
The Friendly Road (AKA David Grayson) Ray Stannard Baker

The depression in business also had its effect upon the country.
The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook

The desolation of the place increased the depression of his spirits.
The Betrothed Alessandro Manzoni

the act of depressing or state of being depressed
a depressed or sunken place or area
a mental disorder characterized by extreme gloom, feelings of inadequacy, and inability to concentrate
(pathol) an abnormal lowering of the rate of any physiological activity or function, such as respiration
an economic condition characterized by substantial and protracted unemployment, low output and investment, etc; slump
(meteorol) Also called cyclone, low. a large body of rotating and rising air below normal atmospheric pressure, which often brings rain
(esp in surveying and astronomy) the angular distance of an object, celestial body, etc, below the horizontal plane through the point of observation Compare elevation (sense 11)
the Depression, the worldwide economic depression of the early 1930s, when there was mass unemployment Also known as the Great Depression, the Slump

late 14c. as a term in astronomy, from Old French depression (14c.) or directly from Latin depressionem (nominative depressio), noun of action from past participle stem of deprimere “to press down, depress” (see depress).

Attested from 1650s in the literal sense; meaning “dejection, depression of 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.

depression de·pres·sion (dĭ-prěsh’ən)

The act of depressing or the state of being depressed.

A reduction in physiological vigor or activity.

A lowering in amount, degree, or position.

An inward displacement of a body part.

A hollow or sunken area.

The condition of feeling sad or despondent.

A psychotic or neurotic condition characterized by an inability to concentrate, insomnia, and feelings of extreme sadness, dejection, and hopelessness.


A geographic area, such as a sinkhole or basin, that is lower than its surroundings.

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.

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

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

A period of drastic decline in the national economy, characterized by decreasing business activity, falling prices, and unemployment. The best known of such periods is the Great Depression, which occurred in the 1930s.


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