Definition of


  1. (noun, act) the seizure and holding of property as security for payment of a debt or satisfaction of a claim
  2. (noun, feeling) psychological suffering
  3. (noun, state) extreme physical pain
  4. (noun, state) a state of adversity (danger or affliction or need)
    she was the classic maiden in distress
  5. (verb, emotion) cause mental pain to
  6. (verb, social) bring into difficulties or distress, especially financial hardship

via WordNet, Princeton University

Synonyms of Distress

distraint, hurt, straiten, suffering

Origin of the word Distress

  1. late 13c., from O.Fr. destresse, from Gallo-Romance *districtia "restraint, affliction," from L. districtus, pp. of distringere "draw apart, hinder," also, in M.L. "compel, coerce," from dis- "apart" + stringere "draw tight, press together" (see strain (v.)). Related: Distressed; distressing. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

Words that sound like Distress

destress, dexterous, dextrorse, dextrose, dextrous, diestrous, diestrus, dioestrous, disastrous, dustrag, dysdercus

via soundex() Hash Matches

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