Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “distress”

distress

noun [U] uk   /dɪˈstres/ us  
C1 a feeling of extreme worry, sadness, or pain: She claimed that the way she had been treated at work had caused her extreme emotional and psychological distress. Many of the horses were showing signs of distress at the end of the race. C2 a situation in which you are suffering or are in great danger and therefore in urgent need of help: Six people were rescued by helicopter from a fishing boat in distress off the coast. a distress signal

distress

verb [T] uk   /dɪˈstres/ us  
to make someone feel very upset or worried: I hope I haven't distressed you with all these personal questions.
(Definition of distress from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of distress?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Making people sad, shocked and upset, but you might be interested in these topics from the Sadness topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “distress” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

dawn on sb

If a fact dawns on you, you understand it after a period of not understanding it.

Word of the Day

The language of work

by Kate Woodford,
October 15, 2014
Most of us talk about our jobs. We tell our family and friends interesting or funny things that have happened in the workplace (=room where we do our job), we describe – and sometimes complain about – our bosses and colleagues and when we meet someone for the first time, we tell

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More