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 But the oil market remains under severe stress, putting pressure on some of the world's top producers to take drastic action. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Tesla's stock continues its meteoric rise with $129 jump," 4 Feb. 2020 Absolutely zero stress, no competition and smooth sailing as if the perfect spot was reserved just for you. Josh Linkner, Detroit Free Press, "How to find the best parking spot, every time, and unlock fresh possibility," 1 Feb. 2020 But in times of extraordinary stress, such as the virus outbreak, these systems swing into action nationwide. Washington Post, "The shunned: People from virus-hit city tracked, quarantined," 31 Jan. 2020 Many of the organoid cells showed signs of metabolic stress, the study demonstrated. Karen Weintraub, Scientific American, "“Mini Brains” Are Not like the Real Thing," 30 Jan. 2020 Most of the abnormalities caught in the scans don’t end up being cancer, which some doctors say ends up creating unnecessary stress, follow-up and sometimes procedures. Brianna Abbott, WSJ, "Lung-Cancer Screening Saves Heavy Smokers’ Lives, Study Finds," 29 Jan. 2020 Sticking with the ice water plunges and a specialized deep breathing technique is meant to balance your hormone levels, boost your energy, reduce stress, strengthen your immune response, and more. Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, "Is The Goop Lab Right About The Healing Powers Of Ice Water Baths?," 27 Jan. 2020 The pressures of her conflicts with her parents and also the stresses of her daily life break into drama when Chantel begins a relationship with a suave young man named Tyrone (Kevin Thigpen). Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "The Still Astonishing “Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.”," 24 Jan. 2020 The study looked at other potential benefits, too, but concluded that there isn’t enough research to say with great certainty that meditation helps with stress, sleep, weight loss, or attention. Brierley Horton, al, "Health or Hype? Which alternative health trends are worth a try," 14 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Price stressed the results reported Tuesday afternoon were accurate and there was a paper trail that will verify their validity. Tim Darnell, ajc, "Buttigieg, Sanders, Warren holding onto ‘3 tickets out of Iowa’ leads," 6 Feb. 2020 But Maguire stresses that the findings were purely observational and that there could be many reasons why this could be true. Meera Senthilingam, CNN, "When it comes to milk you should go full-fat, especially with kids," 4 Feb. 2020 Spencer stresses that influenza is far deadlier than the coronavirus. Melissa Chan, Time, "This Doctor Was Vilified After Contracting Ebola. Now He Sees History Repeating Itself With Coronavirus," 4 Feb. 2020 Duhaney stressed public safety is the city's top priority. Sharon Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati's fire hydrants: If your house is burning, will the nearest hydrant help save it? No one really knows," 30 Jan. 2020 The speaker stressed that the $760 billion cost is for all five years, which leaves another $1.2 trillion in limbo if $2 trillion is the total cost. Jay Heflin, Washington Examiner, "House Democrats announce $760B infrastructure plan," 29 Jan. 2020 François stresses that his version of degrowth is not canonical. Aaron Timms, The New Republic, "Privacy Policy," 27 Jan. 2020 Olson stressed that the first women to attend Northwestern weren’t there to meet partners or socialize. Genevieve Bookwalter, chicagotribune.com, "New exhibit marks 150th anniversary of Northwestern University admitting women as students," 10 Dec. 2019 After Schnatter announced his donation to Simmons, the college's board chairman, Mark Lynn, and president, the Rev. Kevin Cosby, stressed that Schnatter's actions, not his words, should be the focus. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "From stock sales to divorce, Papa John's founder Schnatter has had plenty of plot twists," 6 Dec. 2019

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

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stress. Accessed 17 Feb. 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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