in distress

Definition of in distress

  1. 1 :  very upset He was clearly in distress upon hearing the news.

  2. 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. 3 of a boat, airplane, etc. :  in a state of danger or desperate need The ship was in distress.

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  seizure and detention of the goods of another as pledge (see 1pledge 1) or to obtain satisfaction of a claim by the sale of the goods seized

    :  something that is distrained

    :  pain or suffering affecting the body, a bodily part, or the mind :  trouble

  1. :  to subject to great strain or difficulties

    :  to force or overcome by inflicting pain

    :  to cause to worry or be troubled :  upset

  1. :  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).


a rounded knoll or a ridge of ice

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