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

justice

fairness in the way people are dealt with

Word of the Day

A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

by Liz Walter,
January 21, 2015
It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

Read More 

flower beard noun

January 19, 2015
a beard adorned with flowers And some of said beard-rockers are even turning it up a notch, painting trend on top of trend with what’s come to be known as ‘the flower beard.’

Read More