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distress call
distress signal
distressed person

Distress definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

DISTRESS, n. [See Stress.]
1. The act of distraining; the taking of any personal chattel from a wrong-doer, to answer a demand, or procure satisfaction for a wrong committed.
2. The thing taken by distraining; that which is seized to procure satisfaction.
A distress of household goods shall be impounded under cover. If the lessor does not find sufficient distress on the premises, etc.
3. Extreme pain; anguish of body or mind; as, to suffer great distress from the gout, or from the loss of near friends.
4. Affliction; calamity; misery.
On earth distress of nations. Luke 21.
5. A state of danger; as a ship in distress, from leaking, loss of spars, or want of provisions or water, etc.
1. To pain; to afflict with pain or anguish; applied to the body or the mind. [Literally, to press or strain.]
2. To afflict greatly; to harass; to oppress with calamity; to make miserable.
Distress not the Moabites. Deutoronomy 2.
We are troubled on every side, but not distressed. 2 Corinthians 4.
3. To compel by pain or suffering.
There are men who can neither be distressed nor won into a sacrifice of duty.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: psychological suffering; "the death of his wife caused him great distress" [syn: distress, hurt, suffering]
2: a state of adversity (danger or affliction or need); "a ship in distress"; "she was the classic maiden in distress"
3: extreme physical pain; "the patient appeared to be in distress"
4: the seizure and holding of property as security for payment of a debt or satisfaction of a claim; "Originally distress was a landlord's remedy against a tenant for unpaid rents or property damage but now the landlord is given a landlord's lien" [syn: distress, distraint] v
1: bring into difficulties or distress, especially financial hardship [syn: straiten, distress]
2: cause mental pain to; "The news of her child's illness distressed the mother"

Merriam Webster's

I. noun Etymology: Middle English destresse, from Anglo-French destresce, from Vulgar Latin *districtia, from Latin districtus, past participle of distringere Date: 13th century 1. a. seizure and detention of the goods of another as pledge or to obtain satisfaction of a claim by the sale of the goods seized b. something that is distrained 2. a. pain or suffering affecting the body, a bodily part, or the mind ; trouble <gastric distress> b. a painful situation ; misfortune 3. a state of danger or desperate need <a ship in distress> Synonyms: distress, suffering, misery, agony mean the state of being in great trouble. distress implies an external and usually temporary cause of great physical or mental strain and stress <the hurricane put everyone in great distress>. suffering implies conscious endurance of pain or distress <the suffering of famine victims>. misery stresses the unhappiness attending especially sickness, poverty, or loss <the homeless live with misery every day>. agony suggests pain too intense to be borne <in agony over the death of their child>. II. transitive verb Date: 14th century 1. to subject to great strain or difficulties <homes distressed by poverty> 2. archaic to force or overcome by inflicting pain 3. to cause to worry or be troubled ; upset <don't let the news distress you> 4. to mar (as clothing or wood) deliberately to give an effect of age <a distressed table> distressingly adverb III. adjective Date: 1926 1. offered for sale at a loss <distress merchandise> 2. involving distress goods <a distress sale>

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. & v. --n. 1 severe pain, sorrow, anguish, etc. 2 the lack of money or comforts. 3 Law = DISTRAINT. 4 breathlessness; exhaustion. --v.tr. 1 subject to distress; exhaust, afflict. 2 cause anxiety to; make unhappy; vex. Phrases and idioms: distress-signal a signal from a ship in danger. distress-warrant Law a warrant authorizing distraint. in distress 1 suffering or in danger. 2 (of a ship, aircraft, etc.) in danger or damaged. Derivatives: distressful adj. distressingly adv. Etymology: ME f. OF destresse etc., AF destresser, OF -ecier f. Gallo-Roman (as DISTRAIN)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

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. Not fearing death nor shrinking for distress. --Shak. 2. That which occasions suffering; painful situation; misfortune; affliction; misery. Affliction's sons are brothers in distress. --Burns. 3. A state of danger or necessity; as, a ship in distress, from leaking, loss of spars, want of provisions or water, etc. 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. If he were not paid, he would straight go and take a distress of goods and cattle. --Spenser. The distress thus taken must be proportioned to the thing distrained for. --Blackstone. Abuse of distress. (Law) See under Abuse. Syn: Affliction; suffering; pain; agony; misery; torment; anguish; grief; sorrow; calamity; misfortune; trouble; adversity. See Affliction.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

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. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed. --2 Cor. iv. 8. 2. To compel by pain or suffering. Men who can neither be distressed nor won into a sacrifice of duty. --A. Hamilton. 3. (Law) To seize for debt; to distrain. Syn: To pain; grieve; harass; trouble; perplex; afflict; worry; annoy.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(distresses, distressing, distressed) 1. Distress is a state of extreme sorrow, suffering, or pain. Jealousy causes distress and painful emotions. 2. Distress is the state of being in extreme danger and needing urgent help. He expressed concern that the ship might be in distress. N-UNCOUNT: oft in N 3. If someone or something distresses you, they cause you to be upset or worried. The idea of Toni being in danger distresses him enormously. VERB: V n

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

I. n. 1. Affliction, calamity, disaster, misery, misfortune, adversity, hardship, trial, trouble, perplexity. 2. Anguish, agony, suffering, sorrow, grief. 3. Pain, anguish, agony, torture, gripe, griping. 4. Privation, destitution, poverty, indigence, want, straits. II. v. a. 1. Afflict, perplex, pain, trouble, grieve, make unhappy, make miserable. 2. (Law.) Take, seize, distrain.

Moby Thesaurus

Schmerz, abashment, abuse, ache, aches and pains, aching, adversity, afflict, affliction, aggrieve, agitate, agitation, agonize, agony, ail, all-overs, amercement, angary, angst, anguish, annexation, annexure, annoy, anxiety, anxiety hysteria, anxiety neurosis, anxious bench, anxious concern, anxious seat, anxiousness, apprehension, apprehensiveness, attachment, be the matter, befoul, beset, bewitch, bite, bitter cup, bitter draft, bitter draught, bitter pill, bitterness, bleakness, blight, blow, bother, broken fortune, burden, burden of care, burn, calamity, cankerworm of care, care, catastrophe, chafe, chagrin, cheerlessness, collectivization, comfortlessness, commandeering, communalization, communization, complicate matters, concern, concernment, condemn, confiscation, confusion, constrain, convulse, corrupt, cramp, cross, crown of thorns, crucify, curse, cut, damage, damages, defile, deprave, depress, depression, desolation, despoil, destroy, difficulties, difficulty, disadvantage, disaster, discomfiture, discomfort, discommode, discomposure, disconcertion, disconcertment, discountenance, dismalness, dismay, disquiet, disquietude, disserve, distraint, distressfulness, disturb, disturbance, do a mischief, do evil, do ill, do wrong, do wrong by, dolor, doom, dread, dreariness, embarrassment, eminent domain, encumbrance, envenom, escheat, escheatment, excruciate, execution, exigency, expropriation, fear, fester, fine, foreboding, forebodingness, forfeit, forfeiture, frazzle, fret, gall, gall and wormwood, garnishment, genteel poverty, get into trouble, give concern, give pain, gnaw, grate, grief, grievance, grieve, grievousness, grind, gripe, harass, hard pinch, hardship, harm, harrow, harry, heartache, heartbreak, hex, hurt, hurting, impair, impecuniosity, impecuniousness, impoundment, impressment, inconvenience, infect, inflame, inflict pain, infliction, injure, injury, inquietude, insolvency, irk, irritate, jinx, joylessness, kill by inches, lacerate, lament, lamentability, lamentation, lesion, levy, light purse, load, load with care, malaise, maltreat, martyr, martyrize, menace, misery, misfortune, misgiving, mistreat, molest, mortification, mourn, mournfulness, mulct, narrow means, nasty blow, nationalization, nervous strain, nervous tension, nervousness, nip, oppress, oppression, outrage, overanxiety, pack of troubles, pain, painfulness, pang, pass, passion, pathos, peck of troubles, perplex, persecute, perturb, perturbation, pester, pierce, pinch, pins and needles, pitiability, pitiableness, pitifulness, plague, play havoc with, play hob with, poignancy, poison, pollute, poorness, pother, poverty, prejudice, prick, prolong the agony, pucker, put out, put to it, put to torture, puzzle, rack, rankle, rasp, regrettableness, right of angary, rigor, rub, sadness, savage, scathe, sconce, sea of troubles, sequestration, sharpness, shock, slender means, socialization, solicitude, sore, sore spot, sorrow, sorrowfulness, spasm, stab, stew, sting, strain, strait, straitened circumstances, straits, stress, stress of life, stroke, suffering, suspense, taint, tender spot, tension, thorn, threaten, throes, tight squeeze, torment, torture, tragedy, trial, tribulation, trouble, try, tweak, twinge, twist, uneasiness, unhappiness, unprosperousness, unquietness, upset, vex, vexation, vicissitude, violate, visitation, voluntary poverty, vows of poverty, waters of bitterness, weigh, weight, woe, woebegoneness, woefulness, worry, wound, wreak havoc on, wrench, wretchedness, wring, wrong, zeal

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