Definition of distress noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//dɪˈstres//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈstres//
    [uncountable] Unhappiness, Poverty and famine, Plane travel, Travelling by boat or ship
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  1. 1a feeling of great worry or unhappiness; great suffering The newspaper article caused the actor considerable distress. She was obviously in distress after the attack. deep emotional distress See related entries: Unhappiness
  2. 2suffering and problems caused by not having enough money, food, etc. synonym hardship economic/financial distress The charity aims to relieve poverty and distress caused by natural disasters. See related entries: Poverty and famine
  3. 3a situation in which a ship, plane, etc. is in danger or difficulty and needs help a distress signal (= a message asking for help) It is a rule of the sea to help another boat in distress. See related entries: Plane travel, Travelling by boat or ship
  4. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French destresce (noun), destrecier (verb), based on Latin distringere ‘stretch apart’.Idioms (humorous) a woman who needs help
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: distress

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