[ stres ]
/ strɛs /
importance attached to a thing: to lay stress upon good manners.
Phonetics. emphasis in the form of prominent relative loudness of a syllable or a word as a result of special effort in utterance.
Prosody. accent or emphasis on syllables in a metrical pattern; beat.
emphasis in melody, rhythm, etc.; beat.
the physical pressure, pull, or other force exerted on one thing by another; strain.
- the action on a body of any system of balanced forces whereby strain or deformation results.
- the amount of stress, usually measured in pounds per square inch or in pascals.
- a load, force, or system of forces producing a strain.
- the internal resistance or reaction of an elastic body to the external forces applied to it.
- the ratio of force to area.
Physiology. a specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism.
physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension: Worry over his job and his wife's health put him under a great stress.
a situation, occurrence, or factor causing this: The stress of being trapped in the elevator gave him a pounding headache.
Archaic. strong or straining exertion.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
to experience stress or worry: Don't stress about the turkey; I promise it will be delicious.Dad is always stressing out over his job.
WHO SAID IT: A QUIZ ON PRESIDENTIAL WIT AND WISDOM
Think you know your presidents? Take this quiz and see if you can match the style, wit, and ideology of these memorable lines to the right POTUS.
Question 1 of 9
“I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”
Origin of stress
First recorded in 1275–1325; (noun) Middle English stresse, aphetic variant of distresse; (verb) derivative of the noun; see origin at distress
OTHER WORDS FROM stress
stressless, adjectivestress·less·ness, nounan·ti·stress, adjectivede-stress, verb (used with object)
non·stress, nouno·ver·stressed, adjectivere·stress, verbun·der·stress, nounun·der·stress, verb (used with object)well-stressed, adjective
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH stressaccent, stress
Definition for stress (2 of 2)
a feminine equivalent of -ster: seamstress; songstress.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for stress (1 of 2)
/ (strɛs) /
special emphasis or significance attached to something
mental, emotional, or physical strain or tension
emphasis placed upon a syllable by pronouncing it more loudly than those that surround it
such emphasis as part of a regular rhythmic beat in music or poetry
a syllable so emphasized
- force or a system of forces producing deformation or strain
- the force acting per unit area
(tr) to give emphasis or prominence to
(tr) to pronounce (a word or syllable) more loudly than those that surround it
(tr) to subject to stress or strain
informal (intr) to become stressed or anxious
Derived forms of stressstressful, adjectivestressfully, adverbstressfulness, noun
Word Origin for stress
C14: stresse, shortened from distress
British Dictionary definitions for stress (2 of 2)
suffix forming nouns
indicating a woman who performs or is engaged in a certain activitysongstress; seamstress Compare -ster (def. 1)
Word Origin for -stress
from -st (e) r + -ess
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Medical definitions for stress
[ strĕs ]
An applied force or system of forces that tends to strain or deform a body.
The resisting force set up in a body as a result of an externally applied force.
A physical or psychological stimulus that can produce mental tension or physiological reactions that may lead to illness.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Scientific definitions for stress
[ strĕs ]
The force per unit area applied to an object. Objects subject to stress tend to become distorted or deformed. Compare strain. See also axial stress shear stress. See more at Hooke's law.
- A physiologic reaction by an organism to an uncomfortable or unfamiliar physical or psychological stimulus. Biological changes result from stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system, including a heightened state of alertness, anxiety, increased heart rate, and sweating.
- The stimulus or circumstance causing such a reaction.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for stress (1 of 2)
Cultural definitions for stress (2 of 2)
A physical factor, such as injury, or mental state, such as anxiety, that disturbs the body's normal state of functioning. Stress may contribute to the development of some illnesses, including heart disease and cancer.
notes for stress
The term stress also refers to the physical and mental state produced in the body when it is influenced by such factors: “The stress of the new job was too much for Tim, so he requested reassignment to his old position in the company.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.