dis·​tress·​ful di-ˈstres-fəl How to pronounce distressful (audio)
: causing distress : full of distress
distressfully adverb
distressfulness noun

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Example Sentences

the distressful period during which we waited to learn who had made the cut the distressful living conditions in the refugee camp
Recent Examples on the Web But the results, Mr. Chancellor observes, were not as distressful for the rich as a medieval canonist might have hoped. Adam Rowe, WSJ, 12 Aug. 2022

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

Word History

First Known Use

1591, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of distressful was in 1591

Dictionary Entries Near distressful

Cite this Entry

“Distressful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distressful. Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on distressful

Last Updated: 24 Aug 2022

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