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 Zoom call, in which nurses from all over the country call in to seek and offer one another support, as well as discuss workplace stress. NBC News, "Nurse burnout remains a serious problem, putting patients in danger, experts say," 6 May 2021 In rare cases, tectonic stress can reactivate the fossil faults found here. David Bressan, Forbes, "World’s Most Comprehensive Global Earthquake Risk Map Online," 6 May 2021 Over the long term in fish, eating microplastics has been shown to lead to digestive tract breakdown and general stress, said Hou. Steve Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Fish guts on the Red Line: Chicagoan was transporting specimens for a study showing the long history of microplastics in freshwater species," 6 May 2021 The stress-relieving activity -- which is perfect for first-timers, but also boasts a contingent of hardcore competitors -- can be experienced at several area venues. cleveland, "Northeast Ohio ax-throwing venues on cutting edge of increasingly popular sport," 6 May 2021 Pandemic stress overload has caused postural problems as well. Fiorella Valdesolo, WSJ, "Lower Back Pain, Sore Necks, Hunched Shoulders: How WFH Isn’t Working for Our Bodies," 6 May 2021 The lock nut on the trailing arm of the rear axle may break due to stress corrosion. USA TODAY, "Car recalls for April 29-May 6," 6 May 2021 The Texas cold wave also reinforced OUC’s stress on the need for advanced batteries to store lots of electricity produced by solar panels. Kevin Spear, orlandosentinel.com, "Burn furniture, shiver in a tent: why Florida is vulnerable like Texas to a winter electric grid disaster," 6 May 2021 Kelly knows that virtual learning has been a stress for students and parents, and warned that an educational gap is likely as a result. James Whitlow, baltimoresun.com, "Harford council appoints Ariane Grubb Kelly to fill vacancy on HCPS Board of Education," 5 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That might be on the coaches to stress more, Finch said. Kent Youngblood, Star Tribune, "Wolves coach Chris Finch would like to see more physicality from his players," 24 Apr. 2021 Can’t stress this enough: Walking Dead heads will be very happy with this lineup. Shannon Carlin, refinery29.com, "The Invincible Voice Cast Includes Walking Dead Alums & Major Celebs," 19 Apr. 2021 Despite the industry’s optimism, even its supporters stress that pellets cannot fully replace fossil fuels. New York Times, "There’s a Booming Business in America’s Forests. Some Aren’t Happy About It.," 19 Apr. 2021 Don’t stress, and remember everything in your home and office does not have to be perfect. Jane Stoller, Forbes, "How Business Leaders Can Get Reorganized During Big Life Changes," 15 Apr. 2021 Dallas County officials continue to stress that all residents should join multiple waitlists. Nic Garcia, Dallas News, "Dallas County has given out more than 250,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses at Fair Park," 31 Mar. 2021 Other Ways to Gird Yourself Cannot stress this enough: Zack Snyder’s Justice League is four hours long. James Grebey, Vulture, "Zack Snyder’s Justice League," 12 Mar. 2021 Health officials continue to stress that until the vaccine is widely available, the public should wear masks and practice physical distancing, and the report reiterates those points. Naseem S. Miller, orlandosentinel.com, "White House task force report warns Florida -- again -- to increase mask-wearing, limit indoor gatherings," 12 Dec. 2020 And Michigan election officials continue to stress the ongoing process of collecting, tabulating and storing ballots is tested, safe and accurate. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan prepares for possible legal challenges on and after Election Day," 22 Oct. 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

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stress. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on stress

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