Pronunciation: (di-stres'),[key] —n. 1. great pain, anxiety, or sorrow; acute physical or mental suffering; affliction; trouble.
2. a state of extreme necessity or misfortune.
3. the state of a ship or airplane requiring immediate assistance, as when on fire in transit.
4. that which causes pain, suffering, trouble, danger, etc.
5. liability or exposure to pain, suffering, trouble, etc.; danger: a damsel in distress. 6. Law. a. the legal seizure and detention of the goods of another as security or satisfaction for debt, etc.; the act of distraining.
b. the thing seized in distraining.
7. to dent, scratch, or stain (furniture, lumber, or the like) so as to give an appearance of age.
—adj. 1. afflicted with or suffering distress: distress livestock; distress wheat. 2. caused by or indicative of distress or hardship: distress prices; distress borrowing.
—v.t. 1. to afflict with great pain, anxiety, or sorrow; trouble; worry; bother.
2. to subject to pressure, stress, or strain; embarrass or exhaust by strain: to be distressed by excessive work. 3. to compel by pain or force of circumstances: His suffering distressed him into committing suicide.