Did you know?

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


 - definition

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.



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.

noun stress pronunciation in American English /stres/ 
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [uncountable] a worried or nervous feeling that stops you relaxing, caused, for example, by pressure at work or financial or personal problems

    overworked managers suffering from stress and anxiety

    under stress:

    Carol's been under a lot of stress lately.


    stress-related illnesses

    1. a.
      [only before noun] relating to stress
      stress management (=dealing effectively with stress):

      The class teaches some basic techniques of stress management.

    2. b.
      [countable] a situation that makes you feel stress

      The beautiful gardens offer a refuge from the stresses of daily life.

  2. 2
    [uncountable] special importance given to something so that you pay more attention to it
    lay/put/place stress on something:

    The course lays great stress on the importance of oral communication.

  3. 3
    [countable/uncountable] physical pressure put on something that can make it change its shape or break
    stress on:

    Judo puts a lot of stress on your knee joints.


a paid holiday given to a new employee before they start their job

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

selfie stick

an expandable stick which you attach to a mobile phone or camera to help you take a selfie …

add a word


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