[ dih-strest ]
/ dɪˈstrɛst /


affected with or suffering from distress.
(of merchandise or property for sale) damaged, out-of-date, or used.
(of real estate) foreclosed and offered for sale.
(of furniture) purposely blemished or marred so as to give an antique appearance.
(of fabric) made or processed to appear faded or wrinkled, as if from long, steady use: Our best-selling jeans are the ones in distressed denim.

Origin of distressed

First recorded in 1580–90; distress + -ed2
Related formsdis·tress·ed·ly [dih-stres-id-lee, -strest-lee] /dɪˈstrɛs ɪd li, -ˈstrɛst li/, adverbdis·tress·ed·ness, nounqua·si-dis·tressed, adjectiveun·dis·tressed, adjective

Definition for distressed (2 of 2)


[ dih-stres ]
/ dɪˈstrɛs /



afflicted with or suffering distress: distress livestock; distress wheat.
caused by or indicative of distress or hardship: distress prices; distress borrowing.

verb (used with object)

Origin of distress

1250–1300; (noun) Middle English destresse < Anglo-French distresse, destresse, Old French < Vulgar Latin *districtia, equivalent to Latin district(us) (see district) + -ia -y3; (v.) Middle English destressen < Anglo-French destresser (Old French destrecier), derivative of the noun
Related formsdis·tress·ing·ly, adverbpre·dis·tress, noun, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for distressed

British Dictionary definitions for distressed (1 of 2)


/ (dɪˈstrɛst) /


much troubled; upset; afflicted
in financial straits; poor
(of furniture, fabric, etc) having signs of ageing artificially applied
economics another word for depressed (def. 4)

British Dictionary definitions for distressed (2 of 2)


/ (dɪˈstrɛs) /

verb (tr)


Derived Forms

Word Origin for distress

C13: from Old French destresse distress, via Vulgar Latin, from Latin districtus divided in mind; see distrain
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

Medicine definitions for distressed


[ dĭ-strĕs ]


Mental or physical suffering or anguish.
Severe strain resulting from exhaustion or trauma.
Related formsdis•tress adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.