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1

distress

play
noun dis·tress \di-ˈstres\

Simple Definition of distress

  • : unhappiness or pain : suffering that affects the mind or body

  • : a very difficult situation in which you do not have enough money, food, etc.

  • of a boat, airplane, etc. : a state of danger or desperate need

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of distress

  1. 1 a :  seizure and detention of the goods of another as pledge or to obtain satisfaction of a claim by the sale of the goods seized b :  something that is distrained

  2. 2 a :  pain or suffering affecting the body, a bodily part, or the mind :  trouble <gastric distress> b :  a painful situation :  misfortune

  3. 3 :  a state of danger or desperate need <a ship in distress>

Examples of distress in a sentence

  1. Citizens voiced their distress over delays in fixing the problem.

  2. The patient showed no obvious signs of distress.

  3. He suffered severe emotional distress as a result of the accident.



Origin and Etymology of distress

Middle English destresse, from Anglo-French destresce, from Vulgar Latin *districtia, from Latin districtus, past participle of distringere


First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of distress

distress, suffering, misery, agony mean the state of being in great trouble. distress implies an external and usually temporary cause of great physical or mental strain and stress <the hurricane put everyone in great distress>. suffering implies conscious endurance of pain or distress <the suffering of famine victims>. misery stresses the unhappiness attending especially sickness, poverty, or loss <the homeless live with misery every day>. agony suggests pain too intense to be borne <in agony over the death of their child>.

2

distress

verb dis·tress

Simple Definition of distress

  • : to worry or upset (someone)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of distress

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to subject to great strain or difficulties <homes distressed by poverty>

  3. 2 archaic :  to force or overcome by inflicting pain

  4. 3 :  to cause to worry or be troubled :  upset <don't let the news distress you>

  5. 4 :  to mar (as clothing or wood) deliberately to give an effect of age <a distressed table>

distressingly

play \-ˈstre-siŋ-lē\ adverb

3

distress

adjective dis·tress

Definition of distress

  1. 1 :  offered for sale at a loss <distress merchandise>

  2. 2 :  involving distress goods <a distress sale>





DISTRESS Defined for Kids

1

distress

play
noun dis·tress \di-ˈstres\

Definition of distress for Students

  1. 1 :  physical or mental pain or suffering

  2. 2 :  a state of danger or desperate need <The ship was in distress.>




2

distress

play
verb dis·tress

Definition of distress for Students

distressed

distressing

  1. :  to upset or cause to worry <The news distressed her.>

distressingly

\di-ˈstre-siŋ-lē\ adverb



Medical Dictionary

distress

play
noun dis·tress \dis-ˈtres\

Medical Definition of distress

  1. :  pain or suffering affecting the body, a bodily part, or the mind <gastric distress> <respiratory distress>




Law Dictionary

distress

noun dis·tress

Legal Definition of distress

  1. 1 :  seizure and detention of the goods of another as pledge or to obtain satisfaction of a claim by the sale of the goods seized; specifically :  seizure by a landlord of a tenant's property to obtain satisfaction of arrearages in rent Editor's note: Distress is regulated by statute where available. It has been held unconstitutional by some courts.

  2. 2 :  pain or suffering affecting the body, a bodily part, or the mind — see also emotional distress



Origin and Etymology of distress

Anglo-French destrece, literally, tightness, anguish, deprivation, from Old French, ultimately from Late Latin districtus severe, from past participle of distringere to hinder, punish — see distrain



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