Thomas Arthur Schaefer
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Thursday, September 14, 2006

DISTRESS

distress |disˈtres| noun 1 extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain : to his distress he saw that she was trembling. • the state of a ship or aircraft when in danger or difficulty and needing help : vessels in distress on or near the coast. • suffering caused by lack of money or the basic necessities of life : the poor were helped in their distress. • Medicine a state of physical strain, exhaustion, or, in particular, breathing difficulty : they said the baby was in distress. 2 Law another term for distraint . verb [ trans. ] cause (someone) anxiety, sorrow, or pain : I didn't mean to distress you | [ trans. ] he was distressed to find that Anna would not talk to him | [as adj. ] ( distressing) some very distressing news. • give (furniture, leather, or clothing) simulated marks of age and wear : the manner in which leather jackets are industrially distressed. DERIVATIVES distressful |-fəl| adjective distressingly adverb ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French destresce (noun), destrecier (verb), based on Latin distringere ‘stretch apart.’

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