stress·​or | \ ˈstre-sər , -ˌsȯr\

Definition of stressor

: a stimulus that causes stress

Examples of stressor in a Sentence

Credit card debt is a major stressor in her life.

Recent Examples on the Web

However, some people need distractions from stress instead of actively confronting the stressor, which is okay too. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "How to Cope With Stress," 1 Nov. 2018 To a progressive reader, such mind-body data shows that chronic stressors such as inequality and prejudice are not just unfair but literally poisonous to the heart. Laura Kolbe, WSJ, "‘Heart: A History’ Review: At the Bleeding Edge," 14 Sep. 2018 Among the stressors are mental health issues, financial problems, marital problems, drug abuse, conflict with one or more family members and conflicts at school. Dave Altimari,, "FBI Report Says Mass Shooters Obtain Guns Legally, Usually Give Off Signals Before Shooting Spree," 27 June 2018 Florida State University began requiring new students this year to complete an online program addressing stressors both big and small, ranging from witnessing violence as a child to roommate conflicts. Melissa Korn, WSJ, "Failure 101: Colleges Teach Students How to Cope With Setbacks," 18 Dec. 2018 Depending on the stressor, going into action mode can help some people. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "How to Cope With Stress," 1 Nov. 2018 For many, summer is the time to take a break from the stressors of the day-to-day and head out of town on vacation. Melissa Rolland,, "Homeowner Vacation To-Do List," 9 July 2018 Cortisol is a hormone that the body pumps out in response to a number of different stressors — like sudden, psychological stress, or chronic inflammation. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Don’t stress out yet about stress shrinking your brain," 25 Oct. 2018 Calabrese and his supporters argue that smaller exposures of cell-damaging radiation and other carcinogens can serve as stressors that activate the body’s repair mechanisms and can make people healthier. Ellen Knickmeyer, The Seattle Times, "APNewsBreak: EPA says a little radiation may be healthy," 2 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stressor.' 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 stressor

1950, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for stressor

Last Updated

13 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for stressor

The first known use of stressor was in 1950

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More Definitions for stressor



English Language Learners Definition of stressor

: something that makes you worried or anxious : a source of stress


stress·​or | \ ˈstres-ər , -ˌȯ(ə)r \

Medical Definition of stressor

: a stimulus that causes stress psychological stressors

More from Merriam-Webster on stressor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stressor

Comments on stressor

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a servile follower or underling

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