What does stress mean?

Definitions for stress

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. stress, emphasis, accentnoun

    the relative prominence of a syllable or musical note (especially with regard to stress or pitch)

    "he put the stress on the wrong syllable"

  2. tension, tenseness, stressnoun

    (psychology) a state of mental or emotional strain or suspense

    "he suffered from fatigue and emotional tension"; "stress is a vasoconstrictor"

  3. stress, focusnoun

    special emphasis attached to something

    "the stress was more on accuracy than on speed"

  4. stress, strainnoun

    difficulty that causes worry or emotional tension

    "she endured the stresses and strains of life"; "he presided over the economy during the period of the greatest stress and danger"- R.J.Samuelson

  5. stressverb

    (physics) force that produces strain on a physical body

    "the intensity of stress is expressed in units of force divided by units of area"

  6. stress, emphasize, emphasise, punctuate, accent, accentuateverb

    to stress, single out as important

    "Dr. Jones emphasizes exercise in addition to a change in diet"

  7. stress, accent, accentuateverb

    put stress on; utter with an accent

    "In Farsi, you accent the last syllable of each word"

  8. try, strain, stressverb

    test the limits of

    "You are trying my patience!"


  1. stressnoun

    The internal distribution of force per unit area (pressure) within a body reacting to applied forces which causes strain or deformation and is typically symbolised by u03C3

  2. stressnoun

    externally applied to a body which cause internal stress within the body.

  3. stressnoun

    Emotional pressure suffered by a human being or other animal.

    Go easy on him, he's been under a lot of stress lately.

  4. stressnoun

    The emphasis placed on a syllable of a word.

    Some people put the stress on the first syllable of controversy; others put it on the second.

  5. stressnoun

    Emphasis placed on words in speaking.

  6. stressnoun

    Emphasis placed on a particular point in an argument or discussion (whether spoken or written).

  7. stressverb

    To apply force to (a body or structure) causing strain.

  8. stressverb

    To apply emotional pressure to (a person or animal).

  9. stressverb

    To suffer stress; to worry or be agitated.

  10. stressverb

    To emphasise (a syllable of a word).

    Emphasis is stressed on the first syllable, but emphatic is stressed on the second.

  11. stressverb

    To emphasise (words in speaking).

  12. stressverb

    To emphasise (a point) in an argument or discussion.

    I must stress that this information is given in strict confidence.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Stressnoun

    Etymology: stece , Saxon violence; or from distress.

    A body may as well lay too little as too much stress upon a dream; but the less we heed them the better. Roger L'Estrange.

    The stress of the fable lies upon the hazard of having a numerous stock of children. Roger L'Estrange.

    This, on which the great stress of the business depends, would have been made out with reasons sufficient. John Locke.

    Consider how great a stress he laid upon this duty, while upon earth, and how earnestly he recommended it. Francis Atterbury.

    By stress of weather driv’n,
    At last they landed. John Dryden, Æn.

    Though the faculties of the mind are improved by exercise, yet they must not be put to a stress beyond their strength. John Locke.

  2. To Stressverb

    To distress; to put to hardships or difficulties.

    Etymology: Evidently from distress.

    Stirred with pity of the stressed plight
    Of this sad realm. Fairy Queen.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Stressnoun


  2. Stressnoun

    pressure, strain; -- used chiefly of immaterial things; except in mechanics; hence, urgency; importance; weight; significance

  3. Stressnoun

    the force, or combination of forces, which produces a strain; force exerted in any direction or manner between contiguous bodies, or parts of bodies, and taking specific names according to its direction, or mode of action, as thrust or pressure, pull or tension, shear or tangential stress

  4. Stressnoun

    force of utterance expended upon words or syllables. Stress is in English the chief element in accent and is one of the most important in emphasis. See Guide to pronunciation, // 31-35

  5. Stressnoun

    distress; the act of distraining; also, the thing distrained

  6. Stressverb

    to press; to urge; to distress; to put to difficulties

  7. Stressverb

    to subject to stress, pressure, or strain

  8. Etymology: [Abbrev. fr. distress; or cf. OF. estrecier to press, pinch, (assumed) LL. strictiare, fr. L. strictus. See Distress.]


  1. Stress

    In continuum mechanics, stress is a physical quantity that expresses the internal forces that neighboring particles of a continuous material exert on each other. For example, when a solid vertical bar is supporting a weight, each particle in the bar pulls on the particles immediately above and below it. When a liquid is under pressure, each particle gets pushed inwards by all the surrounding particles, and, in reaction, pushes them outwards. These macroscopic forces are actually the average of a very large number of intermolecular forces and collisions between the molecules in those particles. Stress inside a body may arise by various mechanisms, such as reaction to external forces applied to the bulk material or to its surface. Any strain of a solid material generates an internal elastic stress, analogous to the reaction force of a spring, that tends to restore the material to its original undeformed state. In liquids and gases, only deformations that change the volume generate persistent elastic stress. However, if the deformation is gradually changing with time, even in fluids there will usually be some viscous stress, opposing that change. Elastic and viscous stresses are usually combined under the name mechanical stress.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Stress

    stres, n. force: pressure: urgency: strain: violence, as of the weather: the relative loudness or emphasis with which certain syllables are pronounced, accent: weight, importance: (mech.) force exerted in any direction or manner between two bodies—the greatest stress which a substance will bear without being torn asunder being its ultimate strength.—v.t. to constrain: lay stress on: to emphasise. [O. Fr. estrecir, from L. strictus, stringĕre, to draw tight.]

  2. Stress

    stres, n. distress: legal distraining.

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Stress

    Force exercised upon a solid tending to distort it, or to produce a strain.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. stress

    Hard pressure by weather or other causes. Stress of weather often compels a ship to put back to the port whence she sailed.

Rap Dictionary

  1. stressnoun

    Marijuana, mostly mexican marijauna. That's what the fu** i get for smoking mexican stress -- Mac Dre (Fu** Off The Party) I confiscate the chronic, I let you keep the stress -- Prince Paul ft. Everlast (The Men in Blue)

Suggested Resources

  1. stress

    Song lyrics by stress -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by stress on the Lyrics.com website.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'stress' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2716

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'stress' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2611

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'stress' in Nouns Frequency: #1070

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'stress' in Verbs Frequency: #452

How to pronounce stress?

How to say stress in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of stress in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of stress in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of stress in a Sentence

  1. Theresa Depasquale:

    The big thing that I would stress is that we wanted to have the nicestbooties on the stageso it just kind of evolved from there and I became known as the ‘booty queen,’.

  2. Ken Yeager:

    We know that physical activity and healthy foods will help your body better deal with stress, and yet we often avoid them when we need them the most, people really need to think about this downward spiral we get into and work harder to counteract it.

  3. William Waldman:

    One of the issues that drives abuse and neglect is stress, everybody's stressed out now.

  4. Foods Pregnant Women:

    Plus, things like stress can throw off ovulation, so even if you think you are scheduling everything out to the T, your body could naturally be delayed a little bit, if you have sex and take a pregnancy test a few days later, it can still come back negative. That doesn’t mean the test is not accurate or you’re not pregnant, it could mean that you’re doing it too early.

  5. Alex Lamers:

    Heat stress tends to have a cumulative effect so if you're not recovering at night, especially if you don't have an air conditioning unit, you'll accumulate more heat stress, when it stays warm overnight, it provides a higher launch for temperatures the next day.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for stress

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • إجهادArabic
  • баҫымBashkir
  • tensió, estressar, èmfasi, estrès, accentCatalan, Valencian
  • zdůraznitCzech
  • stresse, stressDanish
  • betonen, Stress, Betonung, Spannung, beanspruchen, stressenGerman
  • δύναμη, τονίζω, τονισμός, έμφασηGreek
  • stresoEsperanto
  • tensionar, estrés, enfatizar, tensar, estresar, énfasis, tensión, acento, acentuarSpanish
  • rõhutamaEstonian
  • فشار, دلهرهPersian
  • rasitus, painotus, kuormitus, painottaa, jännittää, stressata, stressi, jännitysFinnish
  • stresser, tension, stress, emphaser, soulignerFrench
  • béim ghutha, aiceannIrish
  • cudromScottish Gaelic
  • מצוקהHebrew
  • तनावHindi
  • nyomaték, hangsúly, erő, nyomásHungarian
  • acentizarIdo
  • stress, áhersla, streitaIcelandic
  • accento, pressione, enfasi, tensione, stressItalian
  • ストレス, 力説, 応力, 重きJapanese
  • ಒತ್ತಡKannada
  • 강세를 넣다, 강조하다, 변형력을 주다, 스트레스, 강세, 강조, 변형력, 압박, 압박을 주다Korean
  • spanning, zenuwenDutch
  • emfaza, akcentować, nacisk, naprężenie, stresPolish
  • tensão, estressePortuguese
  • stres, încordare, tensiuneRomanian
  • нажи́м, акце́нт, уси́лие, ударе́ние, напряже́ние, стресс, давле́ниеRussian
  • spänning, betoningSwedish
  • மன அழுத்தம்Tamil
  • ఒత్తిడిTelugu
  • ความเครียดThai
  • stres, sıkıntı, vurgulamak, altını çizmek, vurgu, tonlamaTurkish
  • nhấn mạnhVietnamese
  • 應力Chinese

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    a crosspiece between the legs of a chair
    • A. rung
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