dis·​tressed | \ di-ˈstrest How to pronounce distressed (audio) \

Definition of distressed

: of, relating to, or experiencing economic decline or difficulty federal grants for distressed cities

Examples of distressed in a Sentence

She felt emotionally and physically distressed. The government provided funds to the economically distressed city. Donations were given to financially distressed families.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Police said the Lyft driver, who has been cleared in the case, told them Lueck did not seem distressed on her way to the park. Greg Norman, Cristina Corbin, Fox News, "Fox News Exclusive: Suspect in Mackenzie Lueck slaying wanted secret room with wall hooks built, contractor claims," 28 June 2019 Still, no amount of tax forgiveness will get a deal done if investors don't know the specific opportunity exists, and many investors are not used to working in distressed communities. Lydia Depillis, CNN, "A 'mind boggling' tax break was meant to help the poor. But trendy areas are winning too," 14 June 2019 The agreement provides a boost for California’s low-income adults and children but abandons Newsom’s plan for a controversial tax to pay for clean water in distressed communities. Julia Wick, latimes.com, "Essential California: NBA Finals, E3 and Tesla in the week ahead," 10 June 2019 Our family friend Haley Boone distressed and stained it. Katelyn Chef, Teen Vogue, "University of Mississippi Dorm Decor," 23 Aug. 2018 Through the story of Tilikum, a distressed killer whale at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, the film detailed the miserable life orcas can face in captivity. Natasha Daly, National Geographic, "Suffering unseen: The dark truth behind wildlife tourism," 12 June 2019 But planting it for a photo opportunity and then removing it again from the soil is too much stress for an already distressed plant. Annalisa Merelli, Quartzy, "The oak sapling the French president gave to Trump is dead, like their friendship," 11 June 2019 Golden Goose No need to break in these Grey Cord Superstar lace-up sneakers with a cool distressed finish; $480, farfetch.com. 2. Carol Mccolgin, The Hollywood Reporter, "Father's Day Gift Guide: Top Choices for Execs, Stars, Agents, Writers and Directors," 7 June 2019 One of my favorite outfits of hers is this distressed cropped denim jacket with a sweetheart-neckline minidress. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "These Coachella Outfit Ideas Are So Good, You'll Be Watching the Likes Roll In," 7 Mar. 2019

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

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First Known Use of distressed

1613, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for distressed

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for distressed

The first known use of distressed was in 1613

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More Definitions for distressed



English Language Learners Definition of distressed

: feeling or showing extreme unhappiness or pain
somewhat formal : not having enough money : experiencing financial trouble
used to describe something (such as a piece of clothing or furniture) that has been made to look old or to look like something that has been used a lot

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More from Merriam-Webster on distressed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with distressed

Nglish: Translation of distressed for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of distressed for Arabic Speakers

Comments on distressed

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


an act or instance of editing or removing

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