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Is news depressing or depressive? In what situations would you use these two words?

According to

depressive - tending to depress

depressing - serving to depress; inducing a state of depression

That's why I'm asking. Those 2 explanations are very similar. Perhaps it's the difference is in intention?

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Welcome to ELU. What does a dictionary tell you about the words? Please don't ask people to re-present to you the basic research you have already done. You may want to read the answer to a related Meta question on how to ask about word differences and similarities. – Andrew Leach Jan 8 '13 at 20:07

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Depressive mood and depressing scene.

The state of being depressed is depressive, but things that provoke depression are depressing.

I'm depressed.

I'm in a depressive mood.

I've seen a depressing video.

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I'm IN a depressive mood. Although I prefer In a depressed mood than depressive mood. – Mari-Lou A Jul 30 '14 at 6:49

"Depressive" can be an adjective or a noun; as an adjective I've only ever seen it in the phrase "depressive disorder".

As a noun, "depressive" can mean:

  • some intangible thing that is depressing (such as news)
  • a substance that has the effect of depressing mood or function: alcohol is a well-known depressive
  • a person who suffers from depression
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Psychiatrists use it to describe symptoms and states of depression: "depressive symptoms" and "a depressive episode" as well as, e.g., MDD (major depressive disorder). Using it to mean "a person who suffers from depression" is no longer PC in the biomed field, but psychiatrists don't much care about that. – user21497 Jan 8 '13 at 23:43

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