stress·​or | \ ˈstre-sər How to pronounce stressor (audio) , -ˌsȯr\

Definition of stressor

: a stimulus that causes stress

Examples of stressor in a Sentence

Credit card debt is a major stressor in her life.

Recent Examples on the Web

The grieving process becomes more difficult when financial stressors come into play. Joni Hess, Vox, "From diagnostics to autopsy to burial, stillbirths are alarmingly expensive in America," 30 July 2019 Similarly, the Congressional Budget Office estimated in May 2019 that federal crop insurance would cost the government an average of about $8 billion annually from 2019 through 2029 due to worsening floods, droughts and other climate stressors. Daniel Cusick, Scientific American, "Climate Change Will Strain Federal Finances," 18 July 2019 Men overall are less likely to seek out mental health resources than women, studies have shown, but there are specific stressors in the NFL compounding that. Jenny Vrentas,, "The NFL’s Latest Approaches to Mental Health," 18 July 2019 The report analyzed the timing, weapons, locations and stressors of the attacker, plus events that led up to the incident, in an effort to better understand how such attacks unfold and how to prevent them. Colleen Long, The Denver Post, "Most attackers made threats before incident, mass shooting report finds," 10 July 2019 Last fall, Seattle Public Schools last fall began testing a toll-free hotline to help middle- and high-school administrators deal with social media stressors like harassment. Washington Post, "Schools reckon with social stress: ‘I’m on my phone so much’," 7 June 2019 Instead, the condition is triggered when a severe stressor — such as financial loss, a fierce argument or a natural disaster — causes physical damage to the heart. NBC News, "Broken heart syndrome may be linked to cancer, study suggests," 17 July 2019 Alternatively, some strategies remove the stressor. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "What Science Says About Why You're Stressed and How to Cope," 21 June 2019 In fact, the presence of a dog just might help frazzled humans relax: The Anxiety Disorders Association of America recommends adopting a pet as a potential way to cope with the stressors of everyday life. Carrie Arnold, National Geographic, "If you’re chronically stressed, your dog could be too," 6 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stressor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of stressor

1950, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stressor

Statistics for stressor

Last Updated

14 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stressor

The first known use of stressor was in 1950

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stressor



English Language Learners Definition of stressor

: something that makes you worried or anxious : a source of stress


stress·​or | \ ˈstres-ər How to pronounce stressor (audio) , -ˌȯ(ə)r How to pronounce stressor (audio) \

Medical Definition of stressor

: a stimulus that causes stress psychological stressors

More from Merriam-Webster on stressor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stressor

Comments on stressor

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


marked by turns or indirection

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!