View synonyms for stress



[ stres ]


  1. importance attached to a thing:

    to lay stress upon good manners.

    Synonyms: worth, value, weight, consequence, emphasis, meaning, significance

  2. Phonetics. emphasis in the form of prominent relative loudness of a syllable or a word as a result of special effort in utterance.
  3. Prosody. accent or emphasis on syllables in a metrical pattern; beat.
  4. emphasis in melody, rhythm, etc.; beat.
  5. the physical pressure, pull, or other force exerted on one thing by another; strain.
    1. the action on a body of any system of balanced forces whereby strain or deformation results.
    2. the amount of stress, usually measured in pounds per square inch or in pascals.
    3. a load, force, or system of forces producing a strain.
    4. the internal resistance or reaction of an elastic body to the external forces applied to it.
    5. the ratio of force to area.
  6. Physiology. a specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism.
  7. physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension:

    Worry over his job and his wife's health put him under a great stress.

    Synonyms: strain, struggle, exertion, effort, oppression, pressure, burden, anxiety

  8. a situation, occurrence, or factor causing this:

    The stress of being trapped in the elevator gave him a pounding headache.

  9. Archaic. strong or straining exertion.

verb (used with object)

  1. to lay stress on; emphasize.
  2. Phonetics. to pronounce (a syllable or a word) with prominent loudness: Compare accent ( def 18 ).

    Stress the first syllable of “runner.” Stress the second word in “put up with.”

  3. to subject to stress or strain.
  4. Mechanics. to subject to stress.

verb (used without object)

  1. to experience stress or worry:

    Don't stress about the turkey; I promise it will be delicious.

    Dad is always stressing out over his job.


  1. a feminine equivalent of -ster:

    seamstress; songstress.



/ strɛs /


  1. special emphasis or significance attached to something
  2. mental, emotional, or physical strain or tension
  3. emphasis placed upon a syllable by pronouncing it more loudly than those that surround it
  4. such emphasis as part of a regular rhythmic beat in music or poetry
  5. a syllable so emphasized
  6. physics
    1. force or a system of forces producing deformation or strain
    2. the force acting per unit area
“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


  1. tr to give emphasis or prominence to
  2. tr to pronounce (a word or syllable) more loudly than those that surround it
  3. tr to subject to stress or strain
  4. informal.
    intr to become stressed or anxious
“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



suffix forming nouns

  1. indicating a woman who performs or is engaged in a certain activity Compare -ster



“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


/ strĕs /

  1. The force per unit area applied to an object. Objects subject to stress tend to become distorted or deformed.
  2. Compare strainSee also axial stressSee more at Hooke's law
    1. A physiologic reaction by an organism to an uncomfortable or unfamiliar physical or psychological stimulus. Biological changes result from stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system, including a heightened state of alertness, anxiety, increased heart rate, and sweating.
    2. The stimulus or circumstance causing such a reaction.


  1. A physical factor, such as injury, or mental state, such as anxiety , that disturbs the body's normal state of functioning. Stress may contribute to the development of some illnesses, including heart disease and cancer .


  1. In physics , the internal resistance of an object to an external force that tends to deform it.
Discover More


The term stress also refers to the physical and mental state produced in the body when it is influenced by such factors: “The stress of the new job was too much for Tim, so he requested reassignment to his old position in the company.”
Discover More

Derived Forms

  • ˈstressful, adjective
  • ˈstressfully, adverb
  • ˈstressfulness, noun
Discover More

Other Words From

  • stressless adjective
  • stressless·ness noun
  • anti·stress adjective
  • de-stress verb (used with object)
  • non·stress noun
  • over·stressed adjective
  • re·stress verb
  • under·stress noun
  • under·stress verb (used with object)
  • well-stressed adjective
Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of stress1

First recorded in 1275–1325; (noun) Middle English stresse, aphetic variant of distresse; (verb) derivative of the noun; distress

Origin of stress2

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of stress1

C14: stresse, shortened from distress

Origin of stress2

from -st ( e ) r + -ess
Discover More

Example Sentences

These fossils didn’t show the big clusters of dark stress bands.

In that case, the MRI is a “ghost” of that prior inflammation and stress, she says.

For one, if you’re a competitive athlete or bodybuilder that regularly puts a lot of stress on your muscles, BCAAs may help your body recover faster so you can train more often.

Inspiring to read about the hard work, ongoing learning, and level of stress necessary for greatness.

From Fortune

Ricardo, upon noticing my incessant micromanagement and stress, said, “As a CEO, you need to be the most incompetent person in the room.”

From Fortune

Obsessive exercising and inadequate nutrition can, over time, put people at high risk for overuse injuries like stress fractures.

Yes, cops are under stress and tension (though their jobs are far less dangerous than normally supposed).

Nor do these studies address the structural and systematic issues that contribute to obesity, such as poverty and stress.

It also means not having to stress about cleaning out your DVR.

Moreover, trucks, dust, and boomtown stress are the effects of any large-scale industrial activity.

Feeling himself irresistibly driven by the sudden stress to some kind of action, he sprang to his feet—and screamed!

This description is only imperfect in this point that sufficient stress is not laid on the words fall off.

Although many British actors and musicians were participants in this theater, it often suffered from financial stress.

They looked over the parapet because that method was more sure and quick, and the stress of the battle was great.

It is not necessary to repeat the outlines of his political attitude during the storm and stress of Wallace's memorable struggle.





Stresemannstress ball