stress

noun
\ˈstres \

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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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

All students experience stress, losses, and setbacks and most young people are resilient. NBC News, "It's not 'snitching': Secret Service says students can help prevent gun violence," 11 July 2018 Studies show that email is a major cause of stress in the workplace, with 92% of employees showing elevated blood pressure and heart rate when using email at work. Melissa Locker, ajc, "Here’s why you should stop checking your email in the morning," 10 July 2018 Allergies, nutrition, stress, nerve conditions, and reactions to many common drugs can all be root causes. National Geographic, "Think Your Body Is Infested With Insects? You're Not Alone.," 22 June 2018 Topics included bullying, mental health, managing stress, fostering a healthy self-image, and social media safety. Staff Report, The Aegis, "Harford holds annual drug prevention and treament symposium," 21 June 2018 Taking their places are chronic stress and a mindset of scarcity. Clay Marsh, STAT, "Facing deaths of despair from the depths of despair in West Virginia," 12 July 2018 Those participants, Inc explained, were each hooked up to sensors to monitor their stress levels from their brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing. Southern Living, "This Song Will Instantly Lower Your Stress Level By 65 Percent," 3 July 2018 Safely Clearing Security There’s nothing like entering an airport and seeing an hourlong security line to send your stress levels soaring. Elaine Glusac, New York Times, "18 Ways to Navigate Stress at the Airport," 27 June 2018 Other scientists have identified grief in female baboons by analyzing their stress hormone levels before and after losing a close companion or infant. Virginia Morell, Science | AAAS, "Do dolphins feel grief?," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But the Bears guaranteed O’Donnell only $500,000 on a one-year deal and have stressed the need for competition. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "Will Pat O'Donnell respond to competition in fight to stick with Bears?," 13 July 2018 And Ginsberg stressed Match Group does not sell user data, since 95 percent of company revenue comes from subscriptions. CBS News, ""The world has really changed" when it comes to online dating," 13 July 2018 Turnquist stressed safety when using fireworks, and recommended that used fireworks be placed in pails or bins of water before throwing them away. Marc Daalder, Detroit Free Press, "Fireworks left in trash set West Bloomfield house ablaze," 5 July 2018 Manager Liam Norris said safety is stressed and all players must wear goggles to protect their eyes. Frank Vaisvilas, Daily Southtown, "Like 'Call of Duty' but a lot more fun: Weekend warriors play paintball scenarios in Crete," 2 July 2018 Transforming ocean water into what comes out of faucets is some of the most expensive technology of its kind in the world, but water mangers continued to stress the need for independence from the Met. Joshua Emerson Smith, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego's efforts to divest from rival L.A. water agency have driven up rates for residents. Is it worth it?," 1 July 2018 Temperature rise will have a disproportionate impact on poorer and minority residents, given that the warmest neighborhoods also are the most economically stressed and majority black or Hispanic. Frank Kummer, Philly.com, "Weather warning: These Philadelphia neighborhoods get the hottest in a heat wave," 29 June 2018 Everyone will be stressed out and there will be a lot of standing around. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "Why Jeff Greer sees Croatia facing Brazil in the World Cup 2018 final," 29 June 2018 And Yale President Peter Salovey stressed that any notions that universities reap the benefits of public funding while failing to reinvest it in society are a misconception. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "Should America’s Universities Stop Taking So Many International Students?," 28 June 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

3 Oct 2018

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

: to feel very worried or anxious about something : to feel stress

stress

noun
\ˈstres \

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 \

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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Comments on stress

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