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



    BrE BrE//stres//
    ; NAmE NAmE//stres//
    Materials and properties, Phonetics
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    mental pressure
  1. 1  [uncountable, countable] pressure or worry caused by the problems in somebody’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) Synonymspressurestress tension strainThese are all words for the feelings of anxiety caused by the problems in somebody’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 unable to attend because of the pressures of work.stress pressure or anxiety caused by the problems in somebody’s life:stress-related illnessespressure or stress?It is common to say that somebody 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 somebody/​something because they have too much to do or manage; the problems, worry or anxiety that this produces:I found it a strain looking after 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/​strain to be suffering from stress/​tension CollocationsDiet and exerciseWeight put on/​gain/​lose weight/​a few kilos/​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 70 kilos/(British English) 11 stone/(especially North American English) 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/​poor body image have/​develop a positive/​healthy body imageHealthy eating eat a balanced diet/​healthily/​sensibly get/​provide/​receive adequate/​proper nutrition contain/​get/​provide essential nutrients/​vitamins/​minerals be high/​low in calories/​fat/​fibre/(especially US English) fiber/​protein/​vitamin D/​Omega-3 fatty acids contain (no)/use/​be full of/​be free from additives/​chemical preservatives/​artificial sweeteners avoid/​cut down on/​cut out alcohol/​caffeine/​fatty foods stop/​give up/ (especially North American English) quit smokingExercise (British English) take regular exercise do moderate/​strenuous/​vigorous exercise play football/​hockey/​tennis go cycling/​jogging/​running go to/​visit/ (especially North American English) 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/(especially British English) fit 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) See related entries: Materials and properties
  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 Wordfindercluster, consonant, diphthong, elide, intonation, phonetics, pronunciation, stress, tone, voiced See related entries: Phonetics
  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.
  12. Word OriginMiddle English (denoting hardship or force exerted on a person for the purpose of compulsion): shortening of distress, or partly from Old French estresse ‘narrowness, oppression’, based on Latin strictus ‘drawn tight’, past participle of stringere ‘tighten, draw tight’.Extra examples An overcrowded workplace can be a major source of stress. Avoid exercise that puts undue stress on the knees. Cycling puts very little stress on the joints. Different organisms react differently to environmental stress. Engineers calculated the stresses borne by each of the bridge supports. He broke under stress and had to leave. He has suffered post-traumatic stress since the crash. He was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right foot. He’s been under a lot of stress lately. He’s had to give up his job as leader of the project—he just couldn’t take the stress. I must lay great stress on the need for secrecy. Italian words usually have the main stress on the penultimate syllable in the word. Many workers experience a high level of stress in their daily life. Mark the primary stress in each word. Physical exercise is a great stress reliever. Separation is a time of high emotional stress. Some woods warp under stress. Staff are encouraged to go on stress management courses. Standing all day puts stress on your feet. Stress is applied to the wood to make it bend. The buttresses are subjected to constant stress. The first syllable takes the stress. The high mortgage payments put them under severe financial stress. The majority of sports injuries are due to excessive mechanical stress on joints, ligaments and muscles. The movements set up stresses in the earth’s crust. The program helps workers with work-related and family stress. The release of the stress hormone cortisol is part of the human stress response. The tower exerts an enormous stress on the walls. There are many things an employer can do to ease employees’ stress. There is equal stress on all parts of the structure. There’s a stress on the second syllable. There’s been a lot of stress on getting drug sellers off the streets. Tiredness is one of the most common symptoms of stress. Where does the stress fall in ‘psychological’? a study of child development, with the stress on acquisition of social skills an illness brought on by stress compensation claims for undue stress in the workplace high stress levels the daily stress of teaching treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder a stress fracture of the foot emotional/​mental stress stress-related illnesses
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: stress