What does distress mean?

Definitions for distress

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word distress.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. distress, hurt, sufferingnoun

    psychological suffering

    "the death of his wife caused him great distress"

  2. distressnoun

    a state of adversity (danger or affliction or need)

    "a ship in distress"; "she was the classic maiden in distress"

  3. distressnoun

    extreme physical pain

    "the patient appeared to be in distress"

  4. distress, distraintverb

    the seizure and holding of property as security for payment of a debt or satisfaction of a claim

    "Originally distress was a landlord's remedy against a tenant for unpaid rents or property damage but now the landlord is given a landlord's lien"

  5. straiten, distressverb

    bring into difficulties or distress, especially financial hardship

  6. distressverb

    cause mental pain to

    "The news of her child's illness distressed the mother"


  1. distressnoun

    (Cause of) discomfort.

  2. distressnoun

    Serious danger.

  3. distressnoun

    A seizing of property without legal process to force payment of a debt.

  4. distressverb

    To cause strain or anxiety to someone.

  5. distressverb

    To retain someone's property against the payment of a debt; to distrain.

  6. distressverb

    To treat an object, such as an antique, to give it an appearance of age.

    She distressed the new media cabinet so that it fit with the other furniture in the room.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Distressnoun

    extreme pain or suffering; anguish of body or mind; as, to suffer distress from the gout, or from the loss of friends

  2. Distressnoun

    that which occasions suffering; painful situation; misfortune; affliction; misery

  3. Distressnoun

    a state of danger or necessity; as, a ship in distress, from leaking, loss of spars, want of provisions or water, etc

  4. Distressnoun

    the act of distraining; the taking of a personal chattel out of the possession of a wrongdoer, by way of pledge for redress of an injury, or for the performance of a duty, as for nonpayment of rent or taxes, or for injury done by cattle, etc

  5. Distressnoun

    the thing taken by distraining; that which is seized to procure satisfaction

  6. Distressnoun

    to cause pain or anguish to; to pain; to oppress with calamity; to afflict; to harass; to make miserable

  7. Distressnoun

    to compel by pain or suffering

  8. Distressnoun

    to seize for debt; to distrain


  1. Distress

    Distress is a 1995 science fiction novel by Australian writer Greg Egan.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Distress

    dis-tres′, n. extreme pain: that which causes suffering: calamity: misfortune: (arch.) compulsion: act of distraining goods.—v.t. to afflict with pain or suffering: to harass: to grieve: to distrain.—p.adj. Distressed′.—adj. Distress′ful.—adv. Distress′fully.—n. Distress′fulness.—p.adj. Distress′ing.—adv. Distress′ingly. [O. Fr. destresse—L. distringĕre, districtum, to pull asunder.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. distress

    A term used when a ship requires immediate assistance from unlooked-for damage or danger. (See SIGNAL OF DISTRESS.)

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'distress' in Nouns Frequency: #2292

How to pronounce distress?

How to say distress in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of distress in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of distress in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of distress in a Sentence

  1. Josh Lipsky:

    Businesses are asking themselves,' Do I want to continue with something where I don't know if a contract I sign today can be executed weeks or months in the future,' the overall distress in Russian financial system makes it too uncertain. Businesses hate uncertainty. This is uncertainty on steroids.

  2. Shannon Doerhoff:

    He was agonal breathing, at that point, I didn't know. I knew he was in respiratory distress, but I didn't know what was happening.

  3. Cedric Alexander:

    That's becoming more and more apparent, we have already, as many departments have begun to do, look at how to expand our mental health training when we find it certainly necessary to do so. Because it appears that we're seeing more and more of these cases across the country in which police are engaging with those who appear to be in distress.

  4. Chuck Carlson:

    Investors looking at the (airlines) group, are technicians, traders, people buying distress for fairly quick bounces, long-term investors are saying 'Do I want to sit with airline stocks, that may take four to five years for sustained moves upward, or put my money elsewhere,'.

  5. Neighbor Akono Ekundayo:

    Gosh, it was right under our nose. We could have done something, but he was never in distress, it didn't seem like.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for distress

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • nødsituation, ubehagDanish
  • Notlage, Seenot, bedrücken, Kummer, NotGerman
  • αγωνία, συμφορά, αναστατώνω, κατάσχω, κίνδυνος, συντριβή, θλίβω, στενοχωρώGreek
  • peligro, ansiedad, apuroSpanish
  • hätäFinnish
  • détresseFrench
  • cráighIrish
  • aircScottish Gaelic
  • संकटHindi
  • kesulitanIndonesian
  • óþægindi, stórhætta, váIcelandic
  • دڵ ته‌نگی, بێچاره‌یی‌, شڕKurdish
  • nonope, uhitea, āwangawanga, māteatea, mōrearea, ahoteaMāori
  • zetten, stress, druk, onder, benauwenDutch
  • nødsituasjon, ubehagNorwegian
  • niebezpieczeństwo, zagrożeniePolish
  • perigo, penhorar, angustiar, desgastar, desconfortoPortuguese
  • pericol, deranja, suferință, primejdieRomanian
  • несча́стье, го́ре, бе́дствие, беда́Russian
  • दुःखं,, शोकः, क्लेशः, आपद्Sanskrit
  • muka, distresSerbo-Croatian
  • shqetësojAlbanian
  • nödläge, obehag, nödsituationSwedish
  • ความทุกข์Thai
  • 苦难Chinese

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    living by preying on other animals especially by catching living prey
    • A. defiant
    • B. proprietary
    • C. omnifarious
    • D. ravening

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