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 The food is delicious and everyone is content and full, and above all, the meal is mess and stress-free. Lauren Manaker, sun-sentinel.com, "5 Hanukkah food hacks to make your holiday dinner easy and delicious," 11 Nov. 2020 In a year full of so many other complications, let your holiday bird be stress-free. Samin Nosrat, New York Times, "The Buttermilk-Brined Turkey of Your Thanksgiving Dreams," 10 Nov. 2020 Her camp counselors and troop leaders began several years ago to report a trend of harmful cutting, talk about suicide and stories of deep anxiety, stress and bullying. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "Why it matters that 2,000 North Texas Girl Scouts have gotten serious about mental health," 10 Nov. 2020 This heavy bedding can help calm stress and anxiety by providing a comforting pressure atop your body. Tessa Bahoosh, USA TODAY, "31 of the best gifts you can buy from QVC," 10 Nov. 2020 Many people are feeling anxiety, stress and depression months into a pandemic that is again intensifying. Meredith Cohn, baltimoresun.com, "The story behind an emotional warning from one of Maryland’s top coronavirus advisers," 9 Nov. 2020 Develop stress-free habits that will protect your health and increase your creativity. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Nov. 9, 2020: Aries, do your best; Sagittarius, create an oasis of contentment," 9 Nov. 2020 Early on in the pandemic, our partner organizations shared that the health crisis has exacerbated their constituents’ existing feelings of loneliness, stress and anxiety. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Timken Museum’s education director finds meaning in making art accessible," 7 Nov. 2020 One in three Americans is dealing with symptoms of stress or anxiety during the pandemic, according to a recent study conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and other federal agencies. Sammy Gibbons, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Terms like the 'quarantine 15' are helping drive an influx of new patients to Wisconsin eating disorder clinics," 5 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In his post-decision briefing at 3:30 p.m. in Tokyo, Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is likely to stress the BOJ’s readiness to take further action if needed. Toru Fujioka, Bloomberg.com, "Bank of Japan to Hold as Virus Spread Abroad Raises Risks: Decision Guide," 28 Oct. 2020 More recently, 36% of Americans reported difficulty sleeping this summer due to stress about the pandemic, according to a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Matt Villano, CNN, "How the pandemic is contributing to your insomnia," 27 Oct. 2020 But the volume is likely to stress every part of the system, and the people who run voting in South Florida are trying to anticipate every potential bottleneck — even hiring more people solely for the task for removing ballots from envelopes. Anthony Man, sun-sentinel.com, "South Florida elections officials face an unprecedented demand for mail ballots in presidential voting. Are they close to being ready for the onslaught?," 29 Aug. 2020 But since then, observers stress, such criminal activity between the two major bodies has only grown in depth and sophistication in the name of big cash rewards. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Chinese 'cartels' quietly operating in Mexico, aiding US drug crisis," 12 Nov. 2020 The hurricane center continued to stress that Eta’s long-range path was very uncertain. Leigh Morgan, al, "Tropical Storm Eta track update: Could Eta make it into the Gulf?," 4 Nov. 2020 Stefanski has continued to stress the importance of Beckham’s role in Cleveland. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Odell Beckham Jr.'s season-ending injury leaves questions about WR's fit, future with Browns," 26 Oct. 2020 Drew shared this background to stress the importance of mentors. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "A new fellowship program seeks to draw more Black students into space," 7 Oct. 2020 On June 1, Crawford sent a message to the law school to stress the importance of law, especially in times like these. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "U of L Brandeis School of Law launches 'Breonna Taylor's Louisville' class," 26 Aug. 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

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stress. Accessed 29 Nov. 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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