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

Synonyms: Verb

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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 With stress over the short-notice change and a determination to teach, University of Alaska Anchorage faculty are adjusting to the COVID-19-induced challenge of moving their courses online. Caleigh Jensen, Anchorage Daily News, "After an extended spring break, UAA faculty and students settle in to learning at a distance," 30 Mar. 2020 Americans are stress-buying all of the baby chickens. New York Times, "Stock Markets in Asia Signal Lingering Unease: Live Updates," 30 Mar. 2020 Norton CEO Russell Cox acknowledged this policy change will put more stress on its supply of personal protective equipment, such as masks. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "Coronavirus surge kills 2 more Kentuckians, prompts Beshear to restrict travel out of state," 30 Mar. 2020 And while stress can inspire closeness, and sometimes a false bond, a budding relationship wants room to breathe. Sylvia Poggioli, The New York Review of Books, "Pandemic Journal, March 23–29," 29 Mar. 2020 Here’s why stress-baking or cleaning feels so good, neurologically speaking. Sara Harrison, Wired, "Why Stress-Baking and Cleaning Make You Less Anxious," 27 Mar. 2020 Another study of Cohen’s showed that those who reported more stress in their lives were more likely to develop cold symptoms. Katarina Zimmer, Outside Online, "Supporting Your Immune System Is Simple," 27 Mar. 2020 As a result, the Fed’s market interventions do not directly alleviate credit stress for SMEs. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, "The Fed’s Unprecedented Crisis Response," 27 Mar. 2020 These hard times have made knitters, painters, and stress-bakers out of all of us. Michelle Santiago Cortés, refinery29.com, "Why Is Everyone So Into Making Bread Right Now?," 26 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Plenty of economists, even on the liberal side, stress the importance of speedy and generous assistance over agonizing about who’s getting how much help. Mark Trumbull, The Christian Science Monitor, "Coronavirus and recession: How is this economic crisis different?," 27 Mar. 2020 In Israel, the transition is as much a cultural event as a religious one: businesses temporarily shutter and families convene as the country lets out a collective sigh, as if releasing the week’s stresses. Debra Kamin, Condé Nast Traveler, "In Tel Aviv, a City-Wide, Socially Distanced Shabbat," 27 Mar. 2020 Perhaps stresses associated with local predators or other novel stimuli are tweaking the rats’ DNA, the researchers theorize. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "Rats May Be Genetically Adapted to New York Living," 13 Mar. 2020 The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day was #EachforEqual, which stresses the need to recognize equality not just as a women’s issue, but as a pertinent matter of business as well. Bill Rylance, Quartz at Work, "The problem with diversity targets in the workplace," 10 Mar. 2020 Located in Saratoga, Wyoming—a four hour drive from Denver—this is a place where ones goes to get away from it all. Read: stressed out people from the East Coast. Hannah Seligson, Town & Country, "The Best Room at... The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch," 14 Feb. 2020 Not to sound like that elder Black who stresses the severity of voting in November to the point of annoyance, but this is very much a preview of much to come. Michael Arceneaux, Essence, "Donald Trump’s Aim To Add All ‘Sh-thole Countries’ To The Travel Ban," 29 Jan. 2020 Most public health messaging so far has stressed that people who are older, whose immune systems are weakened, and who have underlying diseases are at higher risk of becoming critical cases. Andrew Joseph, STAT, "U.S. official says data show severe coronavirus infections among millennials, not just older Americans," 18 Mar. 2020 Fauci has repeatedly stressed the need for closures and self-quarantines in order to space out the number of severe coronavirus cases so that states' health care systems are not overwhelmed. Maria Polletta, azcentral, "Arizona governor takes less-aggressive approach to coronavirus than many other governors," 16 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for stress

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for stress

Last Updated

3 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stress. Accessed 8 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for stress

stress

noun
How to pronounce stress (audio)

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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Comments on stress

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