‘Repression’ and ‘suppression’ sound similar, but what’s the difference between the two words? We’ll cover that in this article, plus teach you how to use them both in a sentence correctly.
In short, ‘repression’ means unconsciously blocking unwanted thoughts or impulses. ‘Suppression’ is voluntarily blocking unwanted thoughts.
Therefore, they should never be used interchangeably.
As you just learned, there’s a subtle difference between these two words. While ‘repression’ means unconsciously blocking out negative or unwanted thoughts and impulses, ‘suppression’ means blocking out negative or unwanted thoughts voluntarily or on purpose.
As you can see, these terms might sound similar, but they don’t mean the same thing (similar to homophones), which means they don’t qualify as homophones.
The difference between ‘repression’ and ‘suppression’ is that the former is not voluntary, while the latter is.
Therefore, you should avoid using these terms interchangeably, as they’re pretty close to antonyms.
According to Merriam-Webster, ‘repression’ is the process or act of repressing.
It means excluding – or stopping or preventing something.
The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘suppression’ is the act of suppressing or the state of being suppressed.
It means trying not to think about something or trying to avoid the urge to do something.
Wondering how to pronounce the words correctly? Here’s a short guide.
Now that we know what both words mean and how to pronounce them let’s take a look at how to use them in a sentence, starting with ‘repression.’
Now, let’s see some examples of how to use ‘suppression’ in a sentence.
To recap, we know that ‘repression’ and ‘suppression’ are two different words that mean two different things. Although they might sound the same, they’re not the same and should not be used interchangeably.
If you ever get stuck, you can always come back here to refresh your memory. We’ve got a ton of content dedicated to explaining confusing words and phrases in the English language. Go check it out whenever you get a chance.