Did you know?

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

stress - definition and synonyms


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. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [transitive] stress pronunciation in British English /stres/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlestressing
past tensestressed
past participlestressed
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    to emphasize something such as an idea, fact, or detail
    The Prime Minister stressed the importance of controlling spending.
    stress that: He stressed that this was a temporary solution.
  2. 2
    linguistics to pronounce a particular word or syllable (=part of a word) more loudly or with greater force than other words or syllables
    The noun ‘desert’ is stressed on the first syllable.
  3. 3
    spoken to be worried or nervous
    stress about: Even though we’ve got no money I’m not stressing about it.


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


a stupid person

Open Dictionary


an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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