WORRY [C, U] › feelings of worry caused by difficult situations such as problems at work: work-related stress Regular exercise can help reduce stress. She's been under a lot of stress recently. IMPORTANCE [U] › special importance that you give to something: At school, they laid great stress on academic achievement. PHYSICAL FORCE [C, U] › physical force on something: Jogging puts a lot of stress on your knee joints. STRONG PART [U] › when you say one part of a word more strongly: In the word 'blanket', the stress is on the first syllable.