distress

[dih-stres] ,
noun
1.
great pain, anxiety, or sorrow; acute physical or mental suffering; affliction; trouble.
2.
a state of extreme necessity or misfortune.
3.
the state of a ship or airplane requiring immediate assistance, as when on fire in transit.
4.
that which causes pain, suffering, trouble, danger, etc.
5.
liability or exposure to pain, suffering, trouble, etc.; danger: a damsel in distress.
6.
Law.
a.
the legal seizure and detention of the goods of another as security or satisfaction for debt, etc.; the act of distraining.
b.
the thing seized in distraining.
7.
to dent, scratch, or stain (furniture, lumber, or the like) so as to give an appearance of age.
adjective
8.
afflicted with or suffering distress: distress livestock; distress wheat.
9.
caused by or indicative of distress or hardship: distress prices; distress borrowing.
verb (used with object)
10.
to afflict with great pain, anxiety, or sorrow; trouble; worry; bother.
11.
to subject to pressure, stress, or strain; embarrass or exhaust by strain: to be distressed by excessive work.
12.
to compel by pain or force of circumstances: His suffering distressed him into committing suicide.

Origin:
1250–1300; (noun) Middle English destresse < Anglo-French distresse, destresse, Old French < Vulgar Latin *districtia, equivalent to Latin district(us) (see district) + -ia -y3; (v.) Middle English destressen < Anglo-French destresser (Old French destrecier), derivative of the noun

distressingly, adverb
predistress, noun, verb (used with object)


1. agony, anguish, adversity, tribulation. See sorrow. 2. need, destitution.


1. comfort.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
distress (dɪˈstrɛs)
 
vb
1.  to cause mental pain to; upset badly
2.  (usually passive) to subject to financial or other trouble
3.  to damage (esp furniture), as by scratching or denting it, in order to make it appear older than it is
4.  law a less common word for distrain
5.  archaic to compel
 
n
6.  mental pain; anguish
7.  the act of distressing or the state of being distressed
8.  physical or financial trouble
9.  in distress (of a ship, aircraft, etc) in dire need of help
10.  law
 a.  the seizure and holding of property as security for payment of or in satisfaction of a debt, claim, etc; distraint
 b.  the property thus seized
 c.  (US) (as modifier): distress merchandise
 
[C13: from Old French destresse distress, via Vulgar Latin, from Latin districtus divided in mind; see distrain]
 
dis'tressful
 
adj
 
dis'tressfully
 
adv
 
dis'tressfulness
 
n
 
dis'tressing
 
adj, —n
 
dis'tressingly
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

distress
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

distress dis·tress (dĭ-strěs')
n.

  1. Mental or physical suffering or anguish.

  2. Severe strain resulting from exhaustion or trauma.


dis·tress' adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Besides this, the unbroken darkness had had a distressing effect upon my eyes.
Every day his arguments became more extreme, more rigorously exact, and more
  distressing to his master.
One of the distressing features of the malarial fever which had been ravaging
  the troops was that it was recurrent and persistent.
The taming procedure can be so distressing to the animals that some cut off
  their own air supply by stepping on their trunks.
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