Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

distress

 - definition
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
noun [uncountable] American English pronunciation: distress /dɪˈstres/

Related dictionary definitions

  1. 1
    a feeling that you have when you are very unhappy, worried, or upset

    I wouldn't want to cause her any distress.

    in distress:

    She'd arrived on Gina's doorstep in obvious distress.

  2. 3
    a situation in which a ship, aircraft, etc. is in great danger and likely to sink or crash

    a distress call/signal/flare

    in distress:

    a message from a ship in distress

  3. 4
    an unpleasant and difficult situation caused by a lack of money, food, or other basic things
    in distress:

    In some regions, people are in genuine economic distress.

food rave

a very large party where people eat, sell or share many different types of food, usually held outside or in a large public building

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day

skanky

very unpleasant or dirty

Open Dictionary

dead white (European) male

a man … whose achievements may have been overestimated because he belonged to the gender and ethnic group … that was dominant at the time

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog