Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: destresse, from Latin districtus, past participle of distringere 'to pull apart, prevent from acting or leaving'

distress

1 noun
     
dis‧tress1 [uncountable]
1 a feeling of extreme unhappiness:
Luke's behaviour caused his parents great distress.
in distress
The girl was crying and clearly in distress.
2 suffering and problems caused by a lack of money, food etc:
acute financial distress
in distress
charities that aid families in distress
3 formal great physical pain
4 a situation when a ship, aircraft etc is in danger and needs help:
We picked up a distress signal 6 km away.
in distress
The ship is in distress.

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