AskDefine | Define distress

Dictionary Definition

distress

Noun

1 psychological suffering; "the death of his wife caused him great distress" [syn: hurt, suffering]
2 a state of adversity (danger or affliction or need); "a ship in distress"; "she was the classic maiden in distress"
3 extreme physical pain; "the patient appeared to be in distress"
4 the seizure and holding of property as security for payment of a debt or satisfaction of a claim; "Originally distress was a landloard's remedy against a tenant for unpaid rents or property damage but now the landlord is given a landlord's lien" [syn: distraint] v : cause mental pain to; "The news of her child's illness distressed the mother"

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

  • /dɪˈstɹɛs/, /dI"strEs/
  • Rhymes: -ɛs

Etymology

From destresse (French: détresse).

Noun

distress
  1. (Cause of) discomfort
  2. Serious danger
    Three ships were in distress that night.

Translations

(cause of) discomfort
Serious danger
  • ttbc Spanish: inconforme, en serio peligro

Verb

  1. To cause strain or anxiety to someone
  2. to retain someone's property against the payment of a debt
  3. to treat an object, such as an antique, to give it an appearance of age

Extensive Definition

The word distress has various meanings:-
  • Distress is a kind of suffering or stress.
  • In medicine, distress is stress caused by adverse events. See also fetal distress, respiratory distress.
  • In Maritime and Aircraft terms, distress is defined as "grave and imminent danger to life or person or vessel or aircraft, needing immediate assistance". Such a state is indicated by a mayday radio call.
  • Distress is also used by Search and Rescue services to describe targets in adverse or critical conditions.
  • Distress can also refer to the process whereby materials are worn down by time and natural forces.
  • Distressing in woodworking and the decorative arts is the art of making furniture and household objects look old.
  • In law, distress, or distraint, is the act of seizing goods to compel payment, or the goods thus seized.
  • Distress is a novel by Greg Egan

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Schmerz, abashment, abuse, ache, aches and pains, aching, adversity, afflict, affliction, aggrieve, agitate, agitation, agonize, agony, ail, all-overs, amercement, angary, angst, anguish, annexation, annexure, annoy, anxiety, anxiety hysteria, anxiety neurosis, anxious bench, anxious concern, anxious seat, anxiousness, apprehension, apprehensiveness, attachment, be the matter, befoul, beset, bewitch, bite, bitter cup, bitter draft, bitter draught, bitter pill, bitterness, bleakness, blight, blow, bother, broken fortune, burden, burden of care, burn, calamity, cankerworm of care, care, catastrophe, chafe, chagrin, cheerlessness, collectivization, comfortlessness, commandeering, communalization, communization, complicate matters, concern, concernment, condemn, confiscation, confusion, constrain, convulse, corrupt, cramp, cross, crown of thorns, crucify, curse, cut, damage, damages, defile, deprave, depress, depression, desolation, despoil, destroy, difficulties, difficulty, disadvantage, disaster, discomfiture, discomfort, discommode, discomposure, disconcertion, disconcertment, discountenance, dismalness, dismay, disquiet, disquietude, disserve, distraint, distressfulness, disturb, disturbance, do a mischief, do evil, do ill, do wrong, do wrong by, dolor, doom, dread, dreariness, embarrassment, eminent domain, encumbrance, envenom, escheat, escheatment, excruciate, execution, exigency, expropriation, fear, fester, fine, foreboding, forebodingness, forfeit, forfeiture, frazzle, fret, gall, gall and wormwood, garnishment, genteel poverty, get into trouble, give concern, give pain, gnaw, grate, grief, grievance, grieve, grievousness, grind, gripe, harass, hard pinch, hardship, harm, harrow, harry, heartache, heartbreak, hex, hurt, hurting, impair, impecuniosity, impecuniousness, impoundment, impressment, inconvenience, infect, inflame, inflict pain, infliction, injure, injury, inquietude, insolvency, irk, irritate, jinx, joylessness, kill by inches, lacerate, lament, lamentability, lamentation, lesion, levy, light purse, load, load with care, malaise, maltreat, martyr, martyrize, menace, misery, misfortune, misgiving, mistreat, molest, mortification, mourn, mournfulness, mulct, narrow means, nasty blow, nationalization, nervous strain, nervous tension, nervousness, nip, oppress, oppression, outrage, overanxiety, pack of troubles, pain, painfulness, pang, pass, passion, pathos, peck of troubles, perplex, persecute, perturb, perturbation, pester, pierce, pinch, pins and needles, pitiability, pitiableness, pitifulness, plague, play havoc with, play hob with, poignancy, poison, pollute, poorness, pother, poverty, prejudice, prick, prolong the agony, pucker, put out, put to it, put to torture, puzzle, rack, rankle, rasp, regrettableness, right of angary, rigor, rub, sadness, savage, scathe, sconce, sea of troubles, sequestration, sharpness, shock, slender means, socialization, solicitude, sore, sore spot, sorrow, sorrowfulness, spasm, stab, stew, sting, strain, strait, straitened circumstances, straits, stress, stress of life, stroke, suffering, suspense, taint, tender spot, tension, thorn, threaten, throes, tight squeeze, torment, torture, tragedy, trial, tribulation, trouble, try, tweak, twinge, twist, uneasiness, unhappiness, unprosperousness, unquietness, upset, vex, vexation, vicissitude, violate, visitation, voluntary poverty, vows of poverty, waters of bitterness, weigh, weight, woe, woebegoneness, woefulness, worry, wound, wreak havoc on, wrench, wretchedness, wring, wrong, zeal
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