Definition of in distress
1 : very upset He was clearly in distress upon hearing the news.
2 : in a very difficult situation in which one does not have enough money, food, etc. She's chosen to devote her life to helping those in distress.
3 of a boat, airplane, etc. : in a state of danger or desperate need The ship was in distress.
Word by Word Definitions
: to subject to great strain or difficulties
: to force or overcome by inflicting pain
: to cause to worry or be troubled : upset
: offered for sale at a loss
: involving distress goods
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up in distress? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).