English [ edit ]
Etymology [ edit ]
, from Middle English Old French destrecier ( “ to restrain, constrain, put in straits, afflict, distress ” ); compare Middle French . Ultimately from détresse as if Medieval Latin , an assumed frequentative form of *districtiare Latin distringere ( “ to pull asunder, stretch out ” ), from dis- ( “ apart ” ) + stringere ( “ to draw tight, strain ” ).
Pronunciation [ edit ]
distress ( , countable and uncountable plural )
1833, John Trusler, chapter 8, in The Works of William Hogarth: In a Series of Engravings :  To heighten his distress, he is approached by his wife, and bitterly upbraided for his perfidy in concealing from her his former connexions (with that unhappy girl who is here present with her child, the innocent offspring of her amours, fainting at the sight of his misfortunes, being unable to relieve him farther), and plunging her into those difficulties she never shall be able to surmount.
1967, Sleigh, Barbara, , 1993 edition, Sevenoaks, Kent: Bloomsbury, Jessamy , page 122: →ISBN At any other time Jessamy would have laughed at the expressions that chased each other over his freckled face: crossness left over from his struggle with the baby; incredulity; distress; and finally delight. For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:distress. Serious
1719, Daniel Defoe, chapter 13, in Robinson Crusoe :  I immediately considered that this must be some ship in distress, and that they had some comrade, or some other ship in company, and fired these gun for signals of distress, and to obtain help.
1759, Voltaire, chapter 42, in Candide :  At length they perceived a little cottage; two persons in the decline of life dwelt in this desert, who were always ready to give every assistance in their power to their fellow-creatures in distress. For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:distress.
( law ) A seizing of property without legal process to force payment of a debt. ( law ) The thing taken by distraining; that which is seized to procure satisfaction.
If he were not paid, he would straight go and take a distress of goods and cattle. Blackstone
The distress thus taken must be proportioned to the thing distrained for.
Derived terms [ edit ]
Related terms [ edit ]
Translations [ edit ]
(cause of) discomfort
مِحْنَة f ( miḥna ) Danish:
ubehag (da) n Dutch:
druk (nl) , m stress (nl) f Esperanto:
angoro (eo) Finnish:
hätä (fi) French:
détresse (fr) f German:
Kummer (de) , m Bedrängnis (de) , f Drangsal (de) , f Bekümmerung f Greek:
αγωνία (el) f ( agonía ), συντριβή (el) f ( syntriví ), συμφορά (el) f ( symforá ), απελπισία (el) f ( apelpisía )
Ancient: στενοχωρία f ( stenokhōría ), ἀνία f ( anía ) Hungarian:
bánat , (hu) gyötrelem , (hu) bú , (hu) búbánat (hu) Icelandic:
óþægindi n Irish:
angar m Italian:
angoscia (it) , f pena (it) , f miseria (it) , f sconforto (it) m Kurdish:
Sorani: بێچارهیی ( bêçareyî ), دڵ تهنگی ( dill tengî )
aerumna f Maori:
, ahotea , uhitea , āwangawanga , māteatea , auhi , auhitanga pāpōuri Ngazidja Comorian:
mswiɓa ( mswiba ) Norwegian:
desconforto (pt) m Romanian:
suferință (ro) f Russian:
го́ре (ru) n ( góre ), беда́ (ru) f ( bedá ), несча́стье (ru) n ( nesčástʹje ) Sanskrit:
दुःखं, n ( duhkham ), शोकः (sa) m ( Soka ), क्लेशः (sa) ( kleśaḥ ), आपद् (sa) f ( āpad ) Scottish Gaelic:
airc f Serbo-Croatian:
distres , m muka (sh) Spanish:
aflicción (es) , f angustia (es) , f desasosiego (es) , m ansiedad (es) , f sinvivir Swahili:
dhiki (sw) Swedish:
obehag (sv) n Ukrainian: горе n ( hore ), лихо n ( lyxo ), страждання n ( straždannja )
nødsituation (da) Finnish:
hätä (fi) French:
détresse (fr) German:
Not (de) , f Notlage (de) , f Seenot (de) f ( specifically of ships ) Greek:
κίνδυνος (el) m ( kíndynos ) Hungarian:
baj , (hu) , szorultság , szorult helyzet , megszorultság , szorongattatás vész , (hu) ínség , (hu) szükség (hu) Icelandic:
vá , f stórhætta f Italian:
pericolo (it) , m difficoltà (it) f Kurdish:
Sorani: شڕ ( şirr )
(law) a seizing of property without legal process to force payment of a debt
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Translations to be checked
distress ( third-person singular simple present , distresses present participle , distressing simple past and past participle )
strain or anxiety to someone.
1827, Stendhal, chapter 31, in Armance :  She respects me, no doubt, but has no longer any passionate feeling for me, and my death will distress her without plunging her in despair.
( law ) To retain someone’s property against the payment of a debt; to distrain.
1894, James Kent; William Hardcastle Browne, Commentaries on American Law, page 645: This power of distress, as anciently used, became as oppressive as the feudal forfeiture. It was as hard for the tenant to be stripped in an instant of all his goods, for arrears of rent, as to be turned out of the possession of his farm. To treat a new object to give it an appearance of age.
a pair of distressed jeans She distressed the new media cabinet so that it fit with the other furniture in the room.
Synonyms [ edit ]
Translations [ edit ]
cause strain or anxiety
shqetësoj (sq) Dutch:
onder (nl) druk (nl) zetten , (nl) benauwen (nl) Esperanto:
bedrücken , (de) bekümmern , (de) heimsuchen , (de) peinigen , (de) Greek:
στενοχωρώ (el) ( stenochoró ), θλίβω (el) ( thlívo ), αναστατώνω (el) ( anastatóno ) Hungarian:
elszomorít , (hu) nyomaszt , (hu) lesújt , (hu) lehangol (hu) Irish: cráigh
retain someone’s property
Further reading [ edit ]
Anagrams [ edit ]