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

        

    stress

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//stres//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//stres//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they stress
    BrE BrE//stres//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//stres//
     
    he / she / it stresses
    BrE BrE//ˈstresɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈstresɪz//
     
    past simple stressed
    BrE BrE//strest//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//strest//
     
    past participle stressed
    BrE BrE//strest//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//strest//
     
    -ing form stressing
    BrE BrE//ˈstresɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈstresɪŋ//
     
     
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    emphasize
  1. 1  [transitive] to emphasize a fact, an idea, etc. stress something He stressed the importance of a good education. stress that… I must stress that everything I've told you is strictly confidential. + speech ‘There is,’ Johnson stressed, ‘no real alternative.’ it is stressed that… It must be stressed that this disease is very rare. stress how, what, etc… I cannot stress too much how important this is.
  2. word/syllable
  3. 2  [transitive] stress something to give extra force to a word or syllable when saying it You stress the first syllable in ‘happiness’. SynonymsstressemphasizeThese words both mean to give extra force to a syllable, word or phrase when you are saying it.stress to give extra force to a word or syllable when saying it:You stress the first syllable in ‘happiness’.emphasize to give extra force to a word or phrase when saying it, especially to show that it is important:‘Let nothing … nothing,’ he emphasized the word , ‘tempt you.’
  4. 3  [intransitive, transitive] to become or make somebody become too anxious or tired to be able to relax stress out I try not to stress out when things go wrong. stress somebody (out) Driving in cities really stresses me (out).
  5. Word Origin Middle 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 Doctors have rightly stressed the importance of exercise. He stressed the point very strongly that all these services cost money. I can’t stress enough that security is of the highest importance. I must stress that we still know very little about this disease. It is worth stressing that this was only a relatively small survey. Private schools tend to stress the more academic subjects. She has constantly stressed the government’s poor record in this area. She is at pains to stress the cultural differences between the two countries. I must stress that everything I’ve told you is strictly confidential. I want to stress how important this work is. Observers stressed the necessity for the ceasefire to be observed. She stressed the importance of a good education. She stressed the need for cooperation with the authorities.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: stress