a prearranged communication code sign indicating that the sender is in a situation of peril, distress, or the like, as SOS, Mayday, etc.Compare distress signal(def 1).
a communication prompted by or indicating distress: The hospital sent out distress calls for all available stocks of the antitoxin.
Words nearby distress call
Origin of distress call
First recorded in 1910–15
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020