- Stress means physical or mental tension.
- An example of stress is the pressure to finish three large projects by the end of the day.
- An example of stress is discomfort and pain in your arms from carrying too heavy of an item.
- An example of stress is hypertension, which can result from a reaction to a situation in which a person feels threatened or pressured.
- Stress is defined as causing mental and physical strain or tension.
An example of stress is to constantly ask someone questions while she is working on an important project that is due soon.
- strain or straining force; specif.,
- force exerted upon a body, that tends to strain or deform its shape
- the intensity of such force, usually measured in pounds per square inch
- the opposing reaction or cohesiveness of a body resisting such force
- emphasis; importance; significance
- mental or emotional tension or strain characterized by feelings of anxiety, fear, etc.
- a factor or combination of factors that causes such tension or strain, as an urgent need or perceived threat
- Psychol. a condition typically characterized by symptoms of mental and physical tension or strain, as depression or hypertension, that can result from a reaction to a situation in which a person feels threatened, pressured, etc.
- Music accent (senses & )
- the relative force or loudness with which a syllable is uttered
- an accented syllable
- the relative force of utterance given a syllable or word according to the meter
- an accented syllable
Origin of stressMiddle English stresse ; from Old French estresse ; from Vulgar Latin an unverified form strictia ; from Classical Latin strictus, strict; also, in some senses, aphetic ; from distress
- to put stress, pressure, or strain on
- Informal to subject to mental or emotional stress
- to give stress or accent to
- to emphasize
Origin of stressOFr estrecer < VL *strictiare
- a female person who is, does, or creates (something specified): songstress
- a female person associated with (something specified)
Origin of -stress; from -ster + -ess
- Importance, significance, or emphasis placed on something. See Synonyms at emphasis.
- Linguistics a. The relative force with which a sound or syllable is spoken.b. The emphasis placed on the sound or syllable spoken most forcefully in a word or phrase.
- a. The relative force of sound or emphasis given a syllable or word in accordance with a metrical pattern.b. A syllable having strong relative emphasis in a metrical pattern.
- An accent or mark representing such emphasis or force.
- Physics a. The internal distribution of force per unit area within a body subject to an applied force or system of forces.b. The internal resistance of a body to such an applied force or system of forces.
- a. A condition of extreme difficulty, pressure, or strain: “He presided over the economy during the period of its greatest stress and danger” (Robert J. Samuelson).b. A condition of metabolic or physiologic impairment in an organism, occurring usually in response to adverse events and capable of causing physical damage: plants in stress due to a drought.c. A condition of psychological strain occurring in people and animals, usually in response to adverse events and capable of causing symptoms and signs such as increased blood pressure, insomnia, and irritability.d. A stimulus or circumstance causing such a condition: couldn't stand the stresses of the job and quit.
verbstressed, stress·ing, stress·es
- To place emphasis on: stressed basic fire safety in her talk.
- To give prominence of sound to (a syllable or word) in pronouncing or in accordance with a metrical pattern.
- Informal To subject to physiological or mental stress or strain. Often used with out: The pressure of the deadline is really stressing me out.
- To subject to mechanical pressure or force.
verb, intransitive Informal
Origin of stressMiddle English stresse, hardship, partly from destresse (from Old French; see distress) and partly from Old French estrece, narrowness, oppression (from Vulgar Latin *strictia, from Latin strictus, past participle of stringere, to draw tight; see strait).
(countable and uncountable, plural stresses)
- (countable, physics) The internal distribution of force per unit area (pressure) within a body reacting to applied forces which causes strain or deformation and is typically symbolised by σ
- (countable, physics) externally applied to a body which cause internal stress within the body.
- (uncountable) Emotional pressure suffered by a human being or other animal.
- Go easy on him, he's been under a lot of stress lately.
- (uncountable, phonetics) The emphasis placed on a syllable of a word.
- Some people put the stress on the first syllable of “controversy”; others put it on the second.
- (uncountable) Emphasis placed on words in speaking.
- (uncountable) Emphasis placed on a particular point in an argument or discussion (whether spoken or written).
- (Scotland, law) distress; the act of distraining; also, the thing distrained.
(third-person singular simple present stresses, present participle stressing, simple past and past participle stressed)
- To apply force to (a body or structure) causing strain.
- To apply emotional pressure to (a person or animal).
- (informal) To suffer stress; to worry or be agitated.
- To emphasise (a syllable of a word).
- “Emphasis” is stressed on the first syllable, but “emphatic” is stressed on the second.
- To emphasise (words in speaking).
- To emphasise (a point) in an argument or discussion.
- I must stress that this information is given in strict confidence.
In the sense of "mental strain" or “disruption”, used occasionally in the 1920s and 1930s by psychologists, including Walter Cannon (1934); in “biological threat”, used by endocrinologist Hans Selye, by metaphor with stress in physics (force on an object) in the 1930s, and popularized by same in the 1950s.