Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “stress”

stress

noun  /stres/ us  

stress noun (WORRY)

[C/U] worry caused by a difficult situation, or something that causes this condition: [U] Luis is under a lot of stress right now. [C] It’s hard to cope with the stresses of raising a family.

stress noun (FORCE)

[C/U] a force that tends to change the shape or strength of an object: [U] If a metal object experiences constant stress, it may bend or break.

stress noun (PRONOUNCING WORD)

English [C/U] the pronouncing of a word or syllable with greater force than other words in the same sentence or other syllables in the same word: [C] The main stress in the word "command" is on the second syllable.

stress noun (IMPORTANCE)

[U] special importance or emphasis that is given to something: There’s constant stress on status in this community.
stressful
adjective  /ˈstres·fəl/ us  
Working in the emergency room of a major hospital is highly stressful work.

stress

verb [T]  /stres/ us  

stress verb [T] (GIVE IMPORTANCE)

to give special importance or emphasis to something: I’d like to stress the differences between our opinions.

stress verb [T] (PRONOUNCE)

English to pronounce a word or syllable with greater force than other words in the same sentence or other syllables in the same word: In the word "engine," you should stress the first syllable.
(Definition of stress from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of stress?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More American English definitions for “stress”

Definitions of “stress” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

wave

to raise your hand and move it from side to side as a way of greeting someone, telling someone to do something, or adding emphasis to an expression

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

silver splicer noun

November 17, 2014
informal a person who marries in later life Newly retired and now newlywed – rise of the ‘silver splicers’ Reaching pension age becomes a trigger to tie the knot as baby-boomers begin to redefine retirement

Read More