from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act of depressing.
  • n. The condition of being depressed.
  • n. An area that is sunk below its surroundings; a hollow.
  • n. The condition of feeling sad or despondent.
  • n. Psychology A psychiatric disorder characterized by an inability to concentrate, insomnia, loss of appetite, anhedonia, feelings of extreme sadness, guilt, helplessness and hopelessness, and thoughts of death. Also called clinical depression.
  • n. A reduction in activity or force.
  • n. A reduction in physiological vigor or activity: a depression in respiration.
  • n. A lowering in amount, degree, or position.
  • n. Economics A period of drastic decline in a national or international economy, characterized by decreasing business activity, falling prices, and unemployment.
  • n. Economics The worldwide economic depression from the late 1920s through the 1930s. In the United States, it began with the stock market crash in October, 1929.
  • n. Meteorology A region of low barometric pressure.
  • n. The angular distance below the horizontal plane through the point of observation.
  • n. Astronomy The angular distance of a celestial body below the horizon.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an area that is lower in topography than its surroundings
  • n. in psychotherapy and psychiatry, a state of mind producing serious, long-term lowering of enjoyment of life or inability to visualize a happy future
  • n. in psychotherapy and psychiatry, a period of unhappiness or low morale which lasts longer than several weeks and may include ideation of self-inflicted injury or suicide
  • n. an area of lowered air pressure that generally brings moist weather, sometimes promoting hurricanes and tornadoes
  • n. a period of major economic contraction;
  • n. Four consecutive quarters of negative, real GDP growth. See NBER.
  • n. a lowering, in particular a reduction in a particular biological variable or the function of an organ, in contrast to elevation

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of depressing.
  • n. The state of being depressed; a sinking.
  • n. A falling in of the surface; a sinking below its true place; a cavity or hollow.
  • n. Humiliation; abasement, as of pride.
  • n. Dejection; despondency; lowness.
  • n. Diminution, as of trade, etc.; inactivity; dullness.
  • n. The angular distance of a celestial object below the horizon.
  • n. The operation of reducing to a lower degree; -- said of equations.
  • n. A method of operating for cataract; couching. See Couch, v. t., 8.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of pressing down, or the state of being pressed down. Specifically
  • n. In astronomy:
  • n. In gunnery, the lowering of the muzzle of a gun, corresponding to the raising of the breech.
  • n. In surgery, a kind of couching.
  • n. In music, the lowering or flatting of a tone: denoted in printed music by a ♭, or, after a ♯, by a ♯.
  • n. A hollow; a sinking or falling in of a surface; a forcing inward: as, roughness consisting in little protuberances and depressions; the depression of the skull.
  • n. Figuratively, the act of lowering or abasing: as, the depression of pride.
  • n. A sinking of the spirits; dejection; a state of sadness; want of courage or animation: as, depression of the mind.
  • n. A low state of strength; physical exhaustion.
  • n. A state of dullness or inactivity: as, depression of trade; commercial depression.
  • n. Humiliation, fall.
  • n. Melancholy, despondency.
  • n. The difference between the low barometric pressure and the normal pressure for that locality; the departure of the pressure.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a period during the 1930s when there was a worldwide economic depression and mass unemployment
  • n. an air mass of lower pressure; often brings precipitation
  • n. a state of depression and anhedonia so severe as to require clinical intervention
  • n. pushing down
  • n. a sunken or depressed geological formation
  • n. a long-term economic state characterized by unemployment and low prices and low levels of trade and investment
  • n. a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity
  • n. a concavity in a surface produced by pressing
  • n. angular distance below the horizon (especially of a celestial object)
  • n. sad feelings of gloom and inadequacy


From Latin depressio. (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • ...Some economists require a fall in GDP of 10 per cent or more before a recession would be referred to as a depression (see Wikipedia article on Depression (economics).

    It would seem a depression hasn't been defined in the same way a recession has.

    January 24, 2009

  • ...Some economists require a fall in GDP of 10 per cent or more before a recession would be referred to as a depression (see Wikipedia article on Depression (economics).

    It would seem a depression hasn't been defined in the same way a recession has.

    January 24, 2009

  • Super Mario: Depression

    November 23, 2008

  • There is a difference between being depressed and being dead: One is preferable." (The efficiency of giving people their choice of two possibilities is that they'll take one of them.) --Jan Cox

    April 6, 2007