Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “stress”

See all translations

stress

noun uk   /stres/ us  

stress noun (WORRY)

B1 [C or U] great worry caused by a difficult situation, or something that causes this condition: People under a lot of stress may experience headaches, minor pains, and sleeping difficulties. Yoga is a very effective technique for combating stress. the stresses and strains of the job stress-related illness
More examples

stress noun (PRONUNCIATION)

B2 [C or U] the way that a word or syllable is pronounced with greater force than other words in the same sentence or other syllables in the same word: The meaning of a sentence often depends on stress and intonation. When "insert" is a verb, the stress is on the second syllable, but when it is a noun, the stress is on the first syllable.
More examples

stress noun (FORCE)

[C or U] specialized physics, engineering a force that acts in a way that often changes the shape of an object: Computers work out the stresses that such a craft will encounter in flight. Jogging puts a lot of stress on your knee joints. He needs to have an operation for a stress fracture in his foot.

stress noun (EMPHASIS)

C1 [U] emphasis: During his speech, he laid particular stress on the freedom of the press.

stress

verb uk   /stres/ us  

stress verb (EMPHASIZE)

B2 [T] to give emphasis or special importance to something: [+ (that)] He is careful to stress (that) the laboratory's safety standards are the best in the country. I'd just like to stress the importance of neatness and politeness in this job.
More examples

stress verb (PRONOUNCE)

B2 [T] to pronounce a word or syllable with greater force than other words in the same sentence or other syllables in the same word, or to play a musical note with greater force than others in a group: In the word "engine" you should stress the first syllable.
More examples

stress verb (WORRY)

[I] to feel worried and nervous: Don't stress over it - we'll soon sort it out.
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of stress from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of stress?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “stress” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

lamb

a young sheep, or the flesh of a young sheep eaten as meat

Word of the Day

The way we move (Verbs for walking and running)

by Kate Woodford,
March 25, 2015
​​​ This week we’re looking at interesting ways to describe the way that people move. Most of the verbs that we’ll be considering describe how fast or slow people move. Others describe the attitude or state of mind of the person walking or running. Some describe both. Starting with verbs for walking slowly,

Read More 

crossfit noun

March 23, 2015
high-intensity strength training Two women in strappy dresses discussed how much weight they could snatch

Read More