stress Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “stress” in the English Dictionary

"stress" in British English

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stressnoun

uk   /stres/ us   /stres/
  • 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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.
  • stress noun (EMPHASIS)

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

stressverb

uk   /stres/ us   /stres/
  • 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.

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  • 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.

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Phrasal verbs
(Definition of stress from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"stress" in American English

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stressnoun

us   /stres/
  • 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 us   /ˈstres·fəl/
Working in the emergency room of a major hospital is highly stressful work.

stressverb [T]

us   /stres/
  • 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)

"stress" in Business English

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stressnoun

uk   /stres/ us  
[C or U] a feeling of worry and unhappiness because you have too much work or too many problems to deal with: Successful managers need to be able to make tough decisions under stress. She was off work for four weeks with a stress-related illness. More women are now working full-time, with all the stresses and strains that brings. Workplace culture is an important factor in levels of stress. stress management/reduction work/workplace/occupational stresscope with/deal with/handle stress Firms need to find ways of helping executives deal with stress.experience/suffer from stress According to the survey, over half a million workers believed they suffered from stress.reduce/relieve/ease stress Flexible work policies can reduce stress.be under stress People who are under stress are more likely to have accidents at work.cause (sb) stress Delays in payment cause stress and financial hardship.a cause/source of stress Work is the third most frequent cause of stress.take the stress out of sth Satellite-navigation systems take the stress out of driving.
[C or U] problems caused by a difficult situation: financial/fiscal stressbe under stress Many of our businesses are under stress right now because of the slow economy.stress(es) on sth Disappointing figures have once again highlighted stresses on the public finances.place/put/reduce stress on sth A new transmission line would reduce stress on electricity systems across the mid-Atlantic region.
place/lay/put stress on sth
if an official speech or report places, lays, or puts stress on something, it emphasizes it: We should develop a more dynamic conception of equality, placing more stress on opportunity.

stressverb

uk   /stres/ us  
[T] to emphasize something: We want to stress how careful we are when assessing credit risk. It is important to stress that economic and social cohesion is a political priority of the European Union. With the growth of the Internet, I cannot stress how important it is for new businesses to act fast in registering trademarks. The report stressed that by proactively dealing with climate-change issues, companies can earn a voice in planning policy.stress the importance/need The group has spent much of its time stressing the need for debt relief for Africa.be keen/at pains/quick to stress After the budget, the Chancellor was keen to stress how the average earner with two children will be better off.
[I] informal to become very worried or unhappy because you have too much work or too many problems to deal with: Try not to stress too much about things.
(Definition of stress from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“stress” in Business English

Watching the detectorists
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by Colin McIntosh You could be forgiven for thinking that old-fashioned hobbies that don’t involve computers have fallen out of favour. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, the internet has made it easier for people with specialist hobbies from different corners of the world to come together to support one another

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