[ strest-out ]
/ ˈstrɛstˈaʊt /
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afflicted with or incapacitated by stress.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does stressed-out mean?

Stressed-out means experiencing a lot of emotional stress.

The adjective stressed can mean the same thing. Both terms often imply that the level of stress is intense or higher than usual—that stress has built up and is becoming hard to deal with.

The phrasal verb stress out can mean to experience stress, as in Don’t stress out about the meeting—it’s not a big deal. It can also mean to cause someone to experience stress, as in You’re really stressing me out. The term stressed-out comes from the past tense of this sense: someone who is stressed-out has been stressed out by someone or something (or, as is often the case, by a combination of different factors).

Stressed-out is commonly spelled without a hyphen, as stressed out.

Example: During the week of final exams, the library is filled with stressed-out students frantically trying to study.

Where does stressed-out come from?

The first records of the phrasal verb stress out come from around the 1940s, and the adjective form stressed-out came later. In both terms, the word out can be thought of as meaning something like “thoroughly” or “completely.” It’s used in similar ways in other informal adjectives involving emotional, mental, or physical states, such as freaked-out, worn-out, and burned-out.

Describing yourself as stressed-out usually means that stress has accumulated. This can be from things that have already happened or that are happening or from worries about things that will or might happen. The variety of different things that can cause someone to become stressed-out is unlimited.

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What are some other forms related to stressed-out?

  • stressed out (unhyphenated alternate spelling)
  • stress out (verb)

What are some synonyms for stressed-out?

What are some words that share a root or word element with stressed-out


What are some words that often get used in discussing stressed-out?


How is stressed-out used in real life?

Stressed-out is informal. It’s very common for people to describe themselves as stressed-out or stressed.



Try using stressed-out!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of stressed-out?

A. frazzled
B. stressed
C. calmed
D. strained

How to use stressed-out in a sentence