stress

noun
\ ˈstres How to pronounce stress (audio) \

Definition of stress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : constraining force or influence: such as
a : a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part especially : the intensity of this mutual force commonly expressed in pounds per square inch
b : the deformation caused in a body by such a force
c : a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation
d : a state resulting from a stress especially : one of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium job-related stress
e : strain, pressure the environment is under stress to the point of collapse— Joseph Shoben
2 : emphasis, weight lay stress on a point
3 archaic : intense effort or exertion
4 : intensity of utterance given to a speech sound, syllable, or word producing relative loudness
5a : relative force or prominence of sound in verse
b : a syllable having relative force or prominence

stress

verb
stressed; stressing; stresses

Definition of stress (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to subject to physical or psychological stress stressing the equipment this traffic is stressing me out
2 : to subject to phonetic stress : accent
3 : to lay stress on : emphasize stressed the importance of teamwork

intransitive verb

: to feel stress stressing about the big exam often used with out

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Synonyms for stress

Synonyms: Noun

pressure, strain, tension

Synonyms: Verb

bother, fear, fret, fuss, stew, sweat, trouble, worry

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Examples of stress in a Sentence

Noun

She uses meditation as a way of reducing stress. Hormones are released into the body in response to emotional stress. She is dealing with the stresses of working full-time and going to school. He talked about the stresses and strains of owning a business. Carrying a heavy backpack around all day puts a lot of stress on your shoulders and back. To reduce the amount of stress on your back, bend your knees when you lift something heavy. The ship's mast snapped under the stress of high winds. measuring the effects of stresses on the material

Verb

The union stressed the need for stricter safety standards. The risks involved in the procedure should be stressed. Some people stress the second syllable of “harassment,” while others stress the first. When she said, “We need lots of money,” she stressed the word “lots.” It's not an important decision and it isn't worth stressing over.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Researchers have been able to confirm what dog owners have sensed for years: Household pets can actually mirror their owners' feelings of stress. Fox News, "Dogs mirror stress levels of their owners, study suggests," 7 June 2019 Much of their work is aimed at making Curry ruthlessly efficient under the highest physical and mental stress. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Why Stephen Curry’s trainer thinks he will repeat huge Game 3 performance," 6 June 2019 Dog owners experiencing long bouts of stress can transfer it to their dogs, scientists report in a study published Thursday in Scientific Reports. NBC News, "Dogs owners feeling long-term stress can transfer it to their dogs, science shows," 6 June 2019 Renault's relationship with Nissan has been under stress, particularly since the ouster of the alliance's former head, Carlos Ghosn, who has been charged with financial misdeeds. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Renault continuing to study FCA merger proposal," 4 June 2019 Kitties can easily reduce your levels of stress—especially for women above 50 years old—and the comforting rhythmic sound of their purring actually has healing powers. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "According to Research, Being a Cat Lady is Actually Good For You," 15 May 2019 The study also shows that some of Gen Z's biggest sources of stress are the possibility of mass shootings, state of the political climate, and separation of immigrant and migrant families. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "How Gen Z and Millennials Are Totally Different," 17 Jan. 2019 Throughout history, transgender and nonbinary people have lived our whole lives under stress and attack. Sage Grace Dolan-sandrino, Teen Vogue, "I'm a Trans Student, and the Trump Administration Memo Won't Erase Me," 23 Oct. 2018 An uptick of Bitcoin activity in countries such as Venezuela or China, where governments impose capital controls, could indicate that a national currency is under stress. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "To Catch A Bitcoin Thief, Call These Detectives," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Still, federal authorities repeatedly stressed that little could be done to address polluted flows in the Tijuana River Valley following large storms. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Trump EPA releases blueprint for stemming Tijuana River pollution that routinely fouls San Diego beaches," 10 June 2019 While the use of synthetic cadavers in simulation teaching laboratories is popular in medical education, human cadavers are the optimal way to teach anatomy, Smith stressed. Stephanie Innes, AZCentral.com, "Arizona is a hotbed for the cadaver industry, and potential donors have plenty of options," 10 June 2019 Allport stressed that contact would not always work. K.n.c., The Economist, "How to increase empathy and unite society," 7 June 2019 Myron stressed that the privacy rights of Border Patrol and Customs employees would be violated by the release of their names in connection with the abuse complaints. A.c. Thompson, ProPublica, "Over 200 Allegations of Abuse of Migrant Children; 1 Case of Homeland Security Disciplining Someone," 31 May 2019 Most stressed that staying organized is one of the biggest ways to combat a busy sports season. Shelby Dermer, Cincinnati.com, "Sports parents give advice to others on how to budget time effectively," 20 June 2018 In addition to the de-stressing benefits, all the digging quickly becomes a workout. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "40 Creative Things to Do When You're Bored to Pass the Time," 23 May 2019 Taking the dog out promotes movement throughout the day, and Nestle Purina also emphasizes the de-stressing nature of having man’s best friend next to your desk. 5. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "Today Is Take Your Dog to Work Day. But at These 10 Companies, Dogs Are Always Welcome," 22 June 2018 More Gen Zers are stressed out about the separation of immigrant families at the border than adults overall. Brian Resnick, Vox, "America’s teens are extremely stressed out about school shootings," 31 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stress.' 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 stress

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1545, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for stress

Noun

Middle English stresse stress, distress, short for destresse — more at distress

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Statistics for stress

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stress

The first known use of stress was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for stress

stress

noun

English Language Learners Definition of stress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in your life, work, etc.
: something that causes strong feelings of worry or anxiety
: physical force or pressure

stress

verb

English Language Learners Definition of stress (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give special attention to (something)
: to pronounce (a syllable or word) in a louder or more forceful way than other syllables or words
US, informal : to feel very worried or anxious about something : to feel stress

stress

noun
\ ˈstres How to pronounce stress (audio) \

Kids Definition of stress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a force that tends to change the shape of an object
2 : something that causes physical or emotional tension : a state of tension resulting from a stress She felt the stress of working two jobs.
3 : special importance given to something The speaker laid stress on a particular point.
4 : relative loudness or force of a part of a spoken word or a beat in music “Finally” has the stress on the first syllable.

stress

verb
stressed; stressing

Kids Definition of stress (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to subject to excessive use or to forces that cause a change in shape Hard use was stressing the equipment.
2 : to cause or experience physical or emotional tension All these changes are stressing me.
3 : to pronounce (part of a word) with relative loudness or force Stress the first syllable.
4 : to give special importance to : emphasize He stressed the need to save energy.

stress

noun
\ ˈstres How to pronounce stress (audio) \

Medical Definition of stress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part especially : the intensity of this mutual force commonly expressed in pounds per square inch
b : the deformation caused in a body by such a force
2a : a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation
b : a state of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium
3 : the force exerted between teeth of the upper and lower jaws during mastication

Medical Definition of stress (Entry 2 of 2)

: to subject to stress a patient stressed by surgery

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More from Merriam-Webster on stress

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stress

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stress

Spanish Central: Translation of stress

Nglish: Translation of stress for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stress for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about stress

Comments on stress

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