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.
damsel in distressRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
prank callRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
- distress flag,
- distress frequency,
- distress gun,
- distress merchandise,
- distress sale
Origin of distress call
First recorded in 1910–15
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019