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.
Why Is It Called Soccer?In a few countries this game is referred to by names having nothing to do with balls - it is called soccer. Why do American English speakers do this?
Why Do We Call Them Berries?The berry family is a linguistic invention particular to Germanic languages, like English. Other languages, like Spanish and French, do not combine the wide, diverse berry family into one group, but rather have very different words for blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries.
Origin of distress call
First recorded in 1910–15
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019