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.
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.
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”).