- 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)
Origin of distress
Examples from the Web for distresses
It distresses me especially in the last few days that they may have been deprived of the opportunity to be adopted by our family.Russia’s Adoption Ban Is Cruel and Vindictive to All|Dr. Jane Aronson|December 29, 2012|DAILY BEAST
Worcester is rich in charitable institutions and revenues for alleviating the distresses of poverty.Worcestershire in the Nineteenth Century|T. C. Turberville
I pity the distresses of the lady Julia, to whom I am no stranger, and will cheerfully give her all the assistance in my power.'A Sicilian Romance|Ann Radcliffe
"Please don't if it distresses you," P. Sybarite begged gently.The Day of Days|Louis Joseph Vance
But the point, the acme of my distresses, consisted in the awful uncertainty of our final fate.Fox's Book of Martyrs|John Foxe
On one night of the performance of this play, a general officer was observed in the boxes, weeping at the distresses of Indiana.Their Majesties' Servants (Volume 1 of 3)|John Doran
British Dictionary definitions for distresses
- 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
Word Origin and History for distresses (1 of 2)
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.