American English

Definition of stress noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    mental pressure
  1. 1[uncountable, countable] pressure or worry caused by the problems in someone's life Things can easily go wrong when people are under stress. to suffer from stress coping with stress She failed to withstand the stresses and strains of public life. stress-related illnesses emotional/mental stress Stress is often a factor in the development of long-term sickness. stress management (= dealing with stress) Thesauruspressurestress tension strainThese are all words for the feelings of anxiety caused by the problems in someone's life.pressure difficulties and feelings of anxiety that are caused by the need to achieve something or to behave in a particular way:She was losing sleep over the pressure of her work.stress pressure or anxiety caused by the problems in someone's life:stress-related illnesspressure or stress?It is common to say that someone is suffering from stress, while pressure may be the thing that causes stress.tension a feeling of anxiety and stress that makes it impossible to relax:nervous tensionstrain pressure on someone because they have too much to do or manage; the problems, worry, or anxiety that this produces:I found it a strain staying home with four children.Patterns to be under pressure/stress/strain considerable pressure/stress/tension/strain to cause stress/tension/strain to cope with the pressure/stress/tension/strain to relieve/release the pressure/stress/tension to be suffering from stress/tension Topic CollocationsDiet and Exerciseweight put on/gain/lose weight/a few pounds watch/control/struggle with your weight be/become seriously overweight/underweight be/become clinically/morbidly obese achieve/facilitate/promote/stimulate weight loss slim down to 160 pounds combat/prevent/tackle/treat obesity develop/have/suffer from/struggle with/recover from anorexia/bulimia/an eating disorder be on/go on/follow a crash/strict diet have/suffer from a negative/distorted body image have/develop a positive/healthy/realistic body imagehealthy eating eat a balanced diet/healthily/well get/provide/receive adequate/proper nutrition contain/get/provide essential nutrients/vitamins/minerals be high/low in calories/fat/fiber/protein/vitamin D/Omega-3 fatty acids/trans-fats contain (no)/use/be full of/be free from additives/chemical preservatives/artificial sweeteners/high-fructose corn syrup avoid/cut down on/cut out alcohol/caffeine/fatty foods stop/quit smokingexercise get regular exercise do moderate/strenuous/vigorous exercise play football/hockey/tennis/soccer go jogging/running go to/visit/hit/work out at the gym strengthen/tone/train your stomach muscles contract/relax/stretch/use/work your lower-body muscles build (up)/gain muscle improve/increase your stamina/energy levels/physical fitness burn/consume/expend caloriesstaying healthy be/get/keep/stay healthy/in shape lower your cholesterol/blood pressure boost/stimulate/strengthen your immune system prevent/reduce the risk of heart disease/high blood pressure/diabetes/osteoporosis reduce/relieve/manage/combat stress enhance/promote relaxation/physical and mental well-being
  2. physical pressure
  3. 2[uncountable, countable] stress (on something) pressure put on something that can damage it or make it lose its shape When you have an injury you start putting stress on other parts of your body. a stress fracture of the foot (= one caused by such pressure)
  4. emphasis
  5. 3[uncountable] stress (on something) special importance given to something She lays great stress on punctuality. I think the company places too much stress on cost and not enough on quality.
  6. on word/syllable
  7. 4 [uncountable, countable] (phonetics) an extra force used when pronouncing a particular word or syllable We worked on pronunciation, stress, and intonation. primary/secondary stress In “strategic” the stress falls on the second syllable compare intonation
  8. in music
  9. 5[uncountable, countable] extra force used when making a particular sound in music
  10. illness
  11. 6[uncountable] illness caused by difficult physical conditions Those most vulnerable to heat stress are the elderly.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: stress