- 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.
verb (used with object)
- distress call,
- distress flag,
- distress frequency,
- distress gun,
- distress merchandise
Origin of distress
Examples from the Web for distress
I inherited the Arnold Family Thunder ThighsTM, which was a source of frequent teasing and distress for me as a child.
Not only, in the rarest of cases, where there a female lead in a blockbuster action movie, but the damsel in distress was a dude.Team Peeta or Team Gale: Why the ‘Hunger Games’ Love Triangle Ruins ‘Mockingjay – Part 1’|Kevin Fallon|November 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Is it that the communication of joy has no survival value for us, while the communication of distress has?Knocking on Heaven's Door: True Stories of Unexplained, Uncanny Experiences at the Hour of Death|Patricia Pearson|August 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Watching the game, I realized that I was in distress and asked for help.The Warlord Who Defines Afghanistan: An Excerpt From Bruce Riedel’s ’What We Won’|Bruce Riedel|July 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Ramis and Aykroyd want it both ways: an empowered heroine, and the standard damsel in distress.
It was only from her suitor that I heard at last of her distress.Her Mother's Secret|Emma D. E. N. Southworth
He could not help, and it would only distress you to feel that he was upset.About Peggy Saville|Mrs. G. de Horne Vaizey
The distress in Joan's face was like that which one sees in the face of a dumb animal that has received a mortal hurt.Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc|Mark Twain
Before his distress we should be most sympathetic, offering every aid.Once Aboard The Lugger|Arthur Stuart-Menteth Hutchinson
Night came at last, and through the darkness they heard cries as of people in distress.Smith and the Pharaohs, and Other Tales|Henry Rider Haggard
- 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 for distress
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.