1pressure or tension exerted on a material object:the distribution of stress is uniform across the bar
the degree of stress measured in units of force per unit area.
2a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances:he’s obviously under a lot of stress [in combination]:stress-related illnesses
[count noun] something that causes a state of strain or tension:the stresses and strains of public life
3particular emphasis or importance:he has started to lay greater stress on the government’s role in industry
emphasis given to a particular syllable or word in speech, typically through a combination of relatively greater loudness, higher pitch, and longer duration:normally, the stress falls on the first syllableSee also primary stress, secondary stress.
1 [reporting verb] give particular emphasis or importance to (a point, statement, or idea) made in speech or writing: [with object]:they stressed the need for reform [with clause]:she was anxious to stress that her daughter’s safety was her only concern [with direct speech]:‘I want it done very, very neatly,’ she stressed
[with object] give emphasis to (a syllable or word) when pronouncing it:in French, the last syllable is usually stressed
2 [with object] subject to pressure or tension:this type of workout does stress the shoulder and knee joints
3 [with object] cause mental or emotional strain or tension in:I avoid many of the things that used to stress me before (as adjective stressed)she should see a doctor if she is feeling particularly stressed out
[no object] informal become tense or anxious; worry:don’t stress—there’s plenty of time to get a grip on the situation