stress: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (stres), [key]
— n.
  1. importance or significance attached to a thing; emphasis: to lay stress upon good manners.
  2. emphasis in the form of prominent relative loudness of a syllable or a word as a result of special effort in utterance.
  3. accent or emphasis on syllables in a metrical pattern; beat.
  4. emphasis in melody, rhythm, etc.; beat.
  5. the physical pressure, pull, or other force exerted on one thing by another; strain.
    1. the action on a body of any system of balanced forces whereby strain or deformation results.
    2. the amount of stress, usually measured in pounds per square inch or in pascals.
    3. a load, force, or system of forces producing a strain.
    4. the internal resistance or reaction of an elastic body to the external forces applied to it.
    5. the ratio of force to area.
  6. a specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism.
  7. physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension: Worry over his job and his wife's health put him under a great stress.
  8. a situation, occurrence, or factor causing this: The stress of being trapped in the elevator gave him a pounding headache.
  9. strong or straining exertion.
  1. to lay stress on; emphasize.
  2. to pronounce (a syllable or a word) with prominent loudness:Cf.(def. 18). Stress the first syllable of “runner.” Stress the second word in “put up with.”
  3. to subject to stress or strain.
  4. to subject to stress.


Pronunciation: [key]
  1. a feminine equivalent ofseamstress; songstress.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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