mid-14c., from O.Fr. oppresser (13c.), from M.L. oppressare, frequentative of L. opprimere "press against, crush" (in L.L. "to rape"), from ob "against" + premere "to press, push" (see press (v.1)).
It is the due [external] restraint and not the moderation of rulers that constitutes a state of liberty; as the power to oppress, though never exercised, does a state of slavery. [St. George Tucker, "View of the Constitution of the United States," 1803]
mid-14c., "cruel or unjust use of power or authority," from Fr. oppression (12c.), from L. oppressionem (nom. oppressio), noun of action from pp. stem of opprimere (see oppress). Meaning "action of weighing on someone's mind or spirits" is from late 14c.
late 14c., "to check, restrain," from L. repressus, pp. of reprimere "hold back, check," from re- "back" + premere "to push" (see press (v.1)). Used of feelings or desires from late 14c.; in the purely psychological sense, it represents Ger. verdrängen (Freud, 1893), first attested 1904 (implied in repressed). Meaning "to put down" (a rebellion, etc.) is from late 15c. Related: Repressed; repressing.
late 14c., "to put down by force or authority," from L. suppressus, pp. of supprimere "press down, stop, check, stifle," from sub "down, under" (see sub-) + premere "push against" (see press (v.1)). Sense of "prevent or prohibit the circulation of" is from 1550s. Related: Suppressed; suppressing.
Take your pick, lol