- The definition of distress is suffering or pain, or a state of being in trouble.
- A feeling of great sadness and despair is an example of distress.
- When a ship has sprung a leak and is sinking, this is an example of when the ship is in distress.
- Distress is defined as causing someone to feel anxious or depressed, or to finish a piece of furniture in a way that makes it look old or worn.
- An example of distress is when you tell someone bad news and cause him to feel sad.
- An example of distress is when you paint a dresser and you bang it up with a hammer to make it look old.
- to cause sorrow, misery, or suffering to; pain
- to cause discomfort to; trouble
- to exhaust or weaken with strain of any sort
- Archaic to constrain (to do something)
- Law to distrain
Origin of distressMiddle English distressen ; from Old French destrecier, origin, originally , to constrain (to do something) ; from destrece, constraint ; from Medieval Latin destrescia ; from Classical Latin districtus, past participle of distringere: see distrain
- the state of being distressed; pain, suffering, discomfort, etc.
- anything that distresses; affliction
- a state of danger or trouble; bad straits
- the property distrained
transitive verbdis·tressed, dis·tress·ing, dis·tress·es
- To cause strain, anxiety, or suffering to. See Synonyms at trouble.
- To mar or otherwise treat (an object or fabric, for example) to give the appearance of an antique or of heavy prior use.
- Archaic To constrain or overcome by harassment.
- Anxiety or mental suffering.
- a. Bodily dysfunction or discomfort caused by disease or injury: respiratory distress.b. Physical deterioration, as of a highway, caused by hard use over time: pavement distress.
- a. The condition of being in need of immediate assistance: a motorist in distress.b. Suffering caused by poverty: programs to relieve public distress.
- Law The act of distraining or seizing goods to compel payment or other satisfaction for a debt or other duty owed; distraint.
Origin of distressMiddle English distressen, from Old French destresser, from destresse, constraint, from Vulgar Latin *districtia, from Latin districtus, past participle of distringere, to hinder; see distrain.
(third-person singular simple present distresses, present participle distressing, simple past and past participle distressed)
From Middle English, from Old French destrecier (“to restrain, constrain, put in straits, afflict, distress”) (French: détresse), from Medieval Latin as if *districtiare, an assumed frequentive form of Latin distringere (“to pull asunder, stretch out”), from dis- (“apart”) + stringere (“to draw tight, strain”).
distress - Legal Definition