- great pain, anxiety, or sorrow; acute physical or mental suffering; affliction; trouble.
- a state of extreme necessity or misfortune.
- the state of a ship or airplane requiring immediate assistance, as when on fire in transit.
- that which causes pain, suffering, trouble, danger, etc.
- liability or exposure to pain, suffering, trouble, etc.; danger: a damsel in distress.
- the legal seizure and detention of the goods of another as security or satisfaction for debt, etc.; the act of distraining.
- the thing seized in distraining.
- to dent, scratch, or stain (furniture, lumber, or the like) so as to give an appearance of age.
- afflicted with or suffering distress: distress livestock; distress wheat.
- caused by or indicative of distress or hardship: distress prices; distress borrowing.
- to afflict with great pain, anxiety, or sorrow; trouble; worry; bother.
- to subject to pressure, stress, or strain; embarrass or exhaust by strain: to be distressed by excessive work.
- to compel by pain or force of circumstances: His suffering distressed him into committing suicide.
Origin of distress
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for distressingly
The ultimate result would be a more dangerous Brooklyn, most distressingly for kids such as Sarah and Mary.Synagogue Slay: When Cops Have to Kill
December 10, 2014
Distressingly, this framing of the debate limits so many options.Paul Krugman’s Dismissal of Structural Causes for U.S. Employment Problem Is Misguided
May 14, 2012
Another month, another sign that the job market remains unchangingly, distressingly stuck.Fixing the Job Market
September 2, 2011
In a city as large as New York, flawed witnesses are distressingly familiar.The DSK Rush to Judgment
Gerald L. Shargel
July 1, 2011
In our experience hard cider is distressingly like drinking vinegar.Pipefuls
Consuelo was determined, indignant, distressingly reproachful!
The future is not such a distressingly unknown quantity as it was then.Mary Ware's Promised Land
Annie Fellows Johnston
So far the results have been distressingly uniform and hopelessly negative.Preventable Diseases
Excellent people, no doubt, but distressingly shortsighted in some matters.Ulysses
- to cause mental pain to; upset badly
- (usually passive) to subject to financial or other trouble
- to damage (esp furniture), as by scratching or denting it, in order to make it appear older than it is
- law a less common word for distrain
- archaic to compel
- mental pain; anguish
- the act of distressing or the state of being distressed
- physical or financial trouble
- in distress (of a ship, aircraft, etc) in dire need of help
- the seizure and holding of property as security for payment of or in satisfaction of a debt, claim, etc; distraint
- the property thus seized
- US(as modifier)distress merchandise
Word Origin and History for distressingly
late 13c., "circumstance that causes anxiety or hardship," from Old French destresse, from Vulgar Latin *districtia "restraint, affliction, narrowness, distress," from Latin districtus, past participle of distringere "draw apart, hinder," also, in Medieval Latin "compel, coerce," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + stringere "draw tight, press together" (see strain (v.)). Meaning "anguish, suffering; grief" is from c.1300.
- Mental or physical suffering or anguish.
- Severe strain resulting from exhaustion or trauma.