Meaning of STRESS in English


I. ˈstres noun

Etymology: Middle English stresse stress, distress, short for destresse — more at distress

Date: 14th century

1. : constraining force or influence: as

a. : a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part ; especially : the intensity of this mutual force commonly expressed in pounds per square inch

b. : the deformation caused in a body by such a force

c. : a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation

d. : a state resulting from a stress ; especially : one of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium

job-related stress

e. : strain , pressure

the environment is under stress to the point of collapse — Joseph Shoben

2. : emphasis , weight

lay stress on a point

3. archaic : intense effort or exertion

4. : intensity of utterance given to a speech sound, syllable, or word producing relative loudness


a. : relative force or prominence of sound in verse

b. : a syllable having relative force or prominence

6. : accent 6a

II. verb

Date: 1545

transitive verb

1. : to subject to physical or psychological stress

stress ing the equipment

this traffic is stress ing me out

2. : to subject to phonetic stress : accent

3. : to lay stress on : emphasize

stress ed the importance of teamwork

intransitive verb

: to feel stress

stress ing about the big exam

— often used with out

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.