• A physical, chemical, infective agent aggressing an organism.
  • Aggression toward an organism resulting in a response in an attempt to restore previous conditions.
  • The internal distribution of force across a small boundary per unit area of that boundary (pressure) within a body. It causes strain or deformation and is typically symbolised by σ or τ.
  • Force externally applied to a body which cause internal stress within the body.
  • Emotional pressure suffered by a human being or other animal.
  • The emphasis placed on a syllable of a word.
  • Emphasis placed on words in speaking.
  • Emphasis placed on a particular point in an argument or discussion (whether spoken or written).
  • distress; the act of distraining; also, the thing distrained.



Similar words


  • From a shortening of Middle English destresse, borrowed from Old French destrecier, from Latin distringō ("to stretch out"). This form probably coalesced with Middle English stresse, from Old French estrece ("narrowness"), from Vulgar Latin *strictia, from Latin strictus ("narrow").
  • In the sense of "mental strain" or “disruption”, used occasionally in the 1920s and 1930s by psychologists, including Walter Cannon (1934); in “biological threat”, used by endocrinologist Hans Selye, by metaphor with stress in physics (force on an object) in the 1930s, and popularized by same in the 1950s.

Modern English dictionary

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