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noun \ˈstres\

Simple Definition of stress

  • : a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in your life, work, etc.

  • : something that causes strong feelings of worry or anxiety

  • : physical force or pressure

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of stress

  1. 1 :  constraining force or influence: asa :  a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part; especially :  the intensity of this mutual force commonly expressed in pounds per square inchb :  the deformation caused in a body by such a forcec :  a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causationd :  a state resulting from a stress; especially :  one of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium <job-related stress>e :  strain, pressure <the environment is under stress to the point of collapse — Joseph Shoben>

  2. 2 :  emphasis, weight <lay stress on a point>

  3. 3 archaic :  intense effort or exertion

  4. 4 :  intensity of utterance given to a speech sound, syllable, or word producing relative loudness

  5. 5a :  relative force or prominence of sound in verseb :  a syllable having relative force or prominence

  6. 6 :  accent 6a

Examples of stress in a sentence

  1. She uses meditation as a way of reducing stress.

  2. Hormones are released into the body in response to emotional stress.

  3. She is dealing with the stresses of working full-time and going to school.

  4. He talked about the stresses and strains of owning a business.

  5. Carrying a heavy backpack around all day puts a lot of stress on your shoulders and back.

  6. To reduce the amount of stress on your back, bend your knees when you lift something heavy.

  7. The ship's mast snapped under the stress of high winds.

  8. measuring the effects of stresses on the material

Origin of stress

Middle English stresse stress, distress, short for destresse — more at distress

First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with stress




Simple Definition of stress

  • : to give special attention to (something)

  • : to pronounce (a syllable or word) in a louder or more forceful way than other syllables or words

  • : to feel very worried or anxious about something : to feel stress

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of stress

  • transitive verb
    1. 1 :  to subject to physical or psychological stress <stressing the equipment> <this traffic is stressing me out>

    2. 2 :  to subject to phonetic stress :  accent

    3. 3 :  to lay stress on :  emphasize <stressed the importance of teamwork>

    4. intransitive verb
    5. :  to feel stress <stressing about the big exam> —often used with out

    Examples of stress in a sentence

    1. The union stressed the need for stricter safety standards.

    2. The risks involved in the procedure should be stressed.

    3. Some people stress the second syllable of harassment, while others stress the first.

    4. When she said, We need lots of money, she stressed the word lots.

    5. It's not an important decision and it isn't worth stressing over.


    First Known Use of stress


    STRESS Defined for Kids



    noun \ˈstres\

    Definition of stress for Students

    1. 1 :  a force that tends to change the shape of an object

    2. 2 :  something that causes physical or emotional tension :  a state of tension resulting from a stress <She felt the stress of working two jobs.>

    3. 3 :  special importance given to something <The speaker laid stress on a particular point.>

    4. 4 :  relative loudness or force of a part of a spoken word or a beat in music <“Finally” has the stress on the first syllable.>




    Definition of stress for Students


    1. 1 :  to subject to excessive use or to forces that cause a change in shape <Hard use was stressing the equipment.>

    2. 2 :  to cause or experience physical or emotional tension <All these changes are stressing me.>

    3. 3 :  to pronounce (part of a word) with relative loudness or force <Stress the first syllable.>

    4. 4 :  to give special importance to :  emphasize <He stressed the need to save energy.>

    Seen and Heard

    What made you want to look up stress? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


    immature or lacking adult sophistication

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