Distress definition

dĭ-strĕs
Anxiety or mental suffering.
noun
20
7
Anxiety or mental suffering.
noun
20
9
To exhaust or weaken with strain of any sort.
verb
15
4
To cause sorrow, misery, or suffering to; pain.
verb
12
2
To cause discomfort to; trouble.
verb
11
5
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(law) To distrain.
verb
4
1
The state of being distressed; pain, suffering, discomfort, etc.
noun
4
1
Anything that distresses; affliction.
noun
4
1
To mar or otherwise treat (an object or fabric, for example) to give the appearance of an antique or of heavy prior use.
verb
4
3
(archaic) To constrain (to do something)
verb
4
3
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Bodily dysfunction or discomfort caused by disease or injury.
noun
3
2
The condition of being in need of immediate assistance.

A motorist in distress.

noun
1
0
Suffering caused by poverty.

Programs to relieve public distress.

noun
1
0
Distraint.
noun
1
0
The property distrained.
noun
1
0
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The act of distraining another’s property. See also distrain.
noun
1
0
(Cause of) Discomfort.
noun
1
0
Serious danger.
noun
1
0
(law) A seizing of property without legal process to force payment of a debt.
noun
1
0
(law) The thing taken by distraining; that which is seized to procure satisfaction.
noun
1
0
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To cause strain or anxiety to someone.
verb
1
0
(law) To retain someone’s property against the payment of a debt; to distrain.
verb
1
0
To cause strain, anxiety, or suffering to.
verb
3
3
(archaic) To constrain or overcome by harassment.
verb
3
3
A state of danger or trouble; bad straits.
noun
3
3
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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.

noun
2
2
To treat an object, such as an antique, to give it an appearance of age.

She distressed the new media cabinet so that it fit with the other furniture in the room.

verb
2
2
(law) The act of distraining or seizing goods to compel payment or other satisfaction for a debt or other duty owed; distraint.
noun
1
1
Bodily dysfunction or discomfort caused by disease or injury.

Respiratory distress.

noun
1
1
Physical deterioration, as of a highway, caused by hard use over time.

Pavement distress.

noun
1
1
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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.

verb
1
2

Origin of distress

  • 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

  • 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