Distress Definition

distressed, distresses
distressed, distresses
To cause sorrow, misery, or suffering to; pain.
Webster's New World
To mar or otherwise treat (an object or fabric, for example) to give the appearance of an antique or of heavy prior use.
American Heritage
To cause discomfort to; trouble.
Webster's New World
To exhaust or weaken with strain of any sort.
Webster's New World
To constrain (to do something)
Webster's New World
The state of being distressed; pain, suffering, discomfort, etc.
Webster's New World
Anything that distresses; affliction.
Webster's New World
Bodily dysfunction or discomfort caused by disease or injury.
American Heritage Medicine
Physical deterioration, as of a highway, caused by hard use over time.
Pavement distress.
American Heritage
A state of danger or trouble; bad straits.
Webster's New World

Origin of Distress

  • 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”).

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English distressen from Old French destresser from destresse constraint from Vulgar Latin districtia from Latin districtus past participle of distringere to hinder distrain

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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