distress


distress
distress n Distress, suffering, misery, agony, dolor, passion are comparable when denoting the state of one that is in great trouble or in pain of mind or body.
Distress commonly implies conditions or circumstances that cause physical or mental stress or strain; usually also it connotes the possibility of relief or the need of assistance
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to pity distress is human; to relieve it is Godlike— Mann

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The word is applicable to things as well as to persons; thus, a ship in distress is helpless and in peril because of some untoward circumstance (as a breakdown in machinery); a community's distress may be the result of a disaster or of an event imposing extreme hardships on the people. When used to designate a mental state, distress usually implies the stress or strain of fear, anxiety, or shame
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the original shock and distress that were caused by the first serious work of scholars on the Bible— Montague

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it had evidently been a great distress to him, to have the days of his imprisonment recalled— Dickens

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she therefore dressed exclusively in black, to her husband's vast amusement and her mother's rumored distressWylie

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Suffering is used especially in reference to human beings; often it implies conscious awareness of pain or distress and conscious endurance (extreme sensibility to physical suffering . . . characterizes modern civilization— Inge)
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the losses and hardships and sufferings entailed by warRussell

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Misery stresses the unhappy or wretched conditions attending distress or suffering; it often connotes sordidness, or dolefulness, or abjectness
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for bleak, unadulterated misery that dak bungalow was the worst ... I had ever set foot in— Kipling

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she had . . . cheated and shamed herself . . . exchanged content for misery and pride for humiliation— Bennett

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Agony suggests suffering so intense that both body and mind are involved in a struggle to endure the unbearable
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fell with a scream of mortal agonyMason

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the agony of being found wanting and exposed to the disapproval of others— Mead

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Dolor is a somewhat literary word applied chiefly to mental suffering that involves sorrow, somber depression, or grinding anxiety
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heaviness is upon them, and dolor thickens the air they walk through— Frank

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Passion is now rare in this sense except in reference to the sufferings of Jesus in the garden at Gethsemane and culminating in his crucifixion.
Analogous words: affliction, *trial, tribulation: *sorrow, grief, anguish, woe, heartbreak: strait, pass, pinch, exigency (see JUNCTURE): hardship, *difficulty, rigor, vicissitude: *pain, pang, ache
Contrasted words: comforting or comfort, solacing or solace, consolation (see corresponding verbs at COMFORT): alleviation, assuagement, mitigation, allaying, relieving or relief (see corresponding verbs at RELIEVE)
distress vb *trouble, ail
Analogous words: *afflict, try, torment, torture, rack: *worry, annoy, harass, harry, plague, pester: *depress, oppress, weigh
Contrasted words: *comfort, console, solace: *help, aid, assist: *relieve, alleviate, lighten, mitigate, assuage, allay

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • distress — dis·tress n [Anglo French destrece, literally, tightness, anguish, deprivation, from Old French, ultimately from Late Latin districtus severe, from past participle of distringere to hinder, punish see distrain] 1: seizure and detention of the… …   Law dictionary

  • Distress — Dis*tress , n. [OE. destresse, distresse, OF. destresse, destrece, F. d[ e]tresse, OF. destrecier to distress, (assumed) LL. districtiare, fr. L. districtus, p. p. of distringere. See {Distrain}, and cf. {Stress}.] 1. Extreme pain or suffering;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • distress — dis‧tress [dɪˈstres] noun [uncountable] LAW when someone s goods are taken with the permission of a court of law so that they can be sold to pay unpaid rent, bills etc: • The corporation had a power of absolute and immediate distress in the event …   Financial and business terms

  • Distress — may refer to: Distress (medicine), occurring when an individual cannot adapt to stress Suffering Distress signal, an internationally recognized means for obtaining help Distressed inventory, the process whereby materials are worn down by time and …   Wikipedia

  • Distress — Pays d’origine France Genre musical Doom metal Death mélodique Metal Années d activité 1996 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • distress — [di stres′] vt. [ME distressen < OFr destrecier, orig., to constrain (to do something) < destrece, constraint < ML destrescia < L districtus, pp. of distringere: see DISTRAIN] 1. to cause sorrow, misery, or suffering to; pain 2. to… …   English World dictionary

  • distress — [n1] pain, agony ache, affliction, anguish, anxiety, bad news*, blues*, care, concern, cross, dejection, desolation, disappointment, discomfort, disquietude, dolor, embarrassment, grief, headache, heartache, heartbreak, irritation, malaise,… …   New thesaurus

  • Distress — Dis*tress , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Distressed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Distressing}.] [Cf. OF. destrecier. See {Distress}, n.] 1. To cause pain or anguish to; to pain; to oppress with calamity; to afflict; to harass; to make miserable. [1913 Webster] We… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • distress — ► NOUN 1) extreme anxiety or suffering. 2) the state of a ship or aircraft when in danger or difficulty. 3) Medicine a state of physical strain, especially difficulty in breathing. ► VERB 1) cause distress to. 2) give (furniture, leather, etc.)… …   English terms dictionary

  • distress — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ acute, considerable, deep, extreme, great, immense (BrE), severe, significant ▪ genuine, real …   Collocations dictionary


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