• IPA: /dɪˈstɹɛs/


  1. (Cause of) discomfort.
  2. Serious danger.
  3. (medicine) An aversive state of stress to which a person cannot fully adapt.
  4. (legal) A seizing of property without legal process to force payment of a debt.
  5. (legal) The thing taken by distraining; that which is seized to procure satisfaction.
    • If he were not paid, he would straight go and take a distress of goods and cattle.
    • The distress thus taken must be proportioned to the thing distrained for.
Antonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations Verb

distress (distresses, present participle distressing; past and past participle distressed)

  1. To cause strain or anxiety to someone.
    Synonyms: anguish, harrow, trouble, vex, torment, tantalize, tantalise, martyr
  2. (legal) To retain someone’s property against the payment of a debt; to distrain.
    Synonyms: distrain
  3. To treat a new object to give it an appearance of age.
    Synonyms: age, antique, patinate
    a pair of distressed jeans
    She distressed the new media cabinet so that it fit with the other furniture in the room.
Translations Translations Translations
  • German: patinieren, (künstlich) altern
  • Italian: antichizzare
  • Portuguese: desgastar
  • Russian: старить

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