Distress Dis*tress", n. [OE. destresse, distresse, OF. destresse, destrece, F. d['e]tresse, OF. destrecier to distress, (assumed) LL. districtiare, fr. L. districtus, p. p. of distringere. See {Distrain}, and cf. {Stress}.] 1. Extreme pain or suffering; anguish of body or mind; as, to suffer distress from the gout, or from the loss of friends. [1913 Webster]

Not fearing death nor shrinking for distress. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. That which occasions suffering; painful situation; misfortune; affliction; misery. [1913 Webster]

Affliction's sons are brothers in distress. --Burns. [1913 Webster]

3. A state of danger or necessity; as, a ship in distress, from leaking, loss of spars, want of provisions or water, etc. [1913 Webster]

4. (Law) (a) The act of distraining; the taking of a personal chattel out of the possession of a wrongdoer, by way of pledge for redress of an injury, or for the performance of a duty, as for nonpayment of rent or taxes, or for injury done by cattle, etc. (b) The thing taken by distraining; that which is seized to procure satisfaction. --Bouvier. --Kent. --Burrill. [1913 Webster]

If he were not paid, he would straight go and take a distress of goods and cattle. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

The distress thus taken must be proportioned to the thing distrained for. --Blackstone. [1913 Webster]

{Abuse of distress}. (Law) See under {Abuse}.

Syn: Affliction; suffering; pain; agony; misery; torment; anguish; grief; sorrow; calamity; misfortune; trouble; adversity. See {Affliction}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • distress — dis·tress n [Anglo French destrece, literally, tightness, anguish, deprivation, from Old French, ultimately from Late Latin districtus severe, from past participle of distringere to hinder, punish see distrain] 1: seizure and detention of the… …   Law dictionary

  • distress — n Distress, suffering, misery, agony, dolor, passion are comparable when denoting the state of one that is in great trouble or in pain of mind or body. Distress commonly implies conditions or circumstances that cause physical or mental stress or… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • distress — dis‧tress [dɪˈstres] noun [uncountable] LAW when someone s goods are taken with the permission of a court of law so that they can be sold to pay unpaid rent, bills etc: • The corporation had a power of absolute and immediate distress in the event …   Financial and business terms

  • Distress — may refer to: Distress (medicine), occurring when an individual cannot adapt to stress Suffering Distress signal, an internationally recognized means for obtaining help Distressed inventory, the process whereby materials are worn down by time and …   Wikipedia

  • Distress — Pays d’origine France Genre musical Doom metal Death mélodique Metal Années d activité 1996 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • distress — [di stres′] vt. [ME distressen < OFr destrecier, orig., to constrain (to do something) < destrece, constraint < ML destrescia < L districtus, pp. of distringere: see DISTRAIN] 1. to cause sorrow, misery, or suffering to; pain 2. to… …   English World dictionary

  • distress — [n1] pain, agony ache, affliction, anguish, anxiety, bad news*, blues*, care, concern, cross, dejection, desolation, disappointment, discomfort, disquietude, dolor, embarrassment, grief, headache, heartache, heartbreak, irritation, malaise,… …   New thesaurus

  • Distress — Dis*tress , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Distressed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Distressing}.] [Cf. OF. destrecier. See {Distress}, n.] 1. To cause pain or anguish to; to pain; to oppress with calamity; to afflict; to harass; to make miserable. [1913 Webster] We… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • distress — ► NOUN 1) extreme anxiety or suffering. 2) the state of a ship or aircraft when in danger or difficulty. 3) Medicine a state of physical strain, especially difficulty in breathing. ► VERB 1) cause distress to. 2) give (furniture, leather, etc.)… …   English terms dictionary

  • distress — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ acute, considerable, deep, extreme, great, immense (BrE), severe, significant ▪ genuine, real …   Collocations dictionary

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