stress·​or ˈstre-sər How to pronounce stressor (audio)
: 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 Inflation, rising interest rates, and student loan debt were just some of the stressors people pointed to in Empower's poll. Alicia Adamczyk, Fortune, 21 Nov. 2023 While inflation has begun to ease, the year has brought additional financial stressors, such as the removal of people who were kept on Medicaid rolls during the pandemic and September’s resumption of student loan repayments. Danny Nguyen, Washington Post, 20 Nov. 2023 Enlarge / Future impacts to US interests are uncertain given complex system interdependencies and interactions between stressors, capacities, and responses. Elizabeth Rayne, Ars Technica, 14 Nov. 2023 Many physicians do not know whether or to what degree their patients are experiencing social stressors that affect their health. Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, 14 Nov. 2023 Illustration: Constance Tremlett Researchers are also trying to track animals that are responding to a complex set of overlapping environmental stressors. WIRED, 17 Oct. 2023 Losing a job ranks as one of life’s biggest stressors. Ron Lieber, New York Times, 11 Nov. 2023 Other drivers of anxiety and depression on the survey included lacking skills or talents (44 percent), family stressors (43 percent), school gun violence (42 percent) and choice overload (40 percent). Katherine Reynolds Lewis, Washington Post, 24 Oct. 2023 Most short-duration space flights take place on the shuttle, and launch itself is a huge stressor. Katie Liu, Discover Magazine, 16 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stressor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1950, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of stressor was in 1950

Dictionary Entries Near stressor

Cite this Entry

“Stressor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


stress·​or ˈstres-ər How to pronounce stressor (audio) -ˌȯ(ə)r How to pronounce stressor (audio)
: a stimulus that causes stress
psychological stressors
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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