(1)   The relative prominence of a syllable or musical note (especially with regard to stress or pitch)
"He put the stress on the wrong syllable"
(2)   (physics) force that produces strain on a physical body
"The intensity of stress is expressed in units of force divided by units of area"
(3)   (psychology) a state of mental or emotional strain or suspense
"He suffered from fatigue and emotional tension"
"Stress is a vasoconstrictor"
(4)   Difficulty that causes worry or emotional tension
"She endured the stresses and strains of life"
"He presided over the economy during the period of the greatest stress and danger"- R.J.Samuelson
(5)   Special emphasis attached to something
"The stress was more on accuracy than on speed"


(6)   Put stress on; utter with an accent
"In Farsi, you accent the last syllable of each word"
(7)   To stress, single out as important
"Dr. Jones emphasizes exercise in addition to a change in diet"
(8)   Test the limits of
"You are trying my patience!"


From , from , from .

In the sense of “mental strain” or “disruption”, used occasionally in the 1920s and 1930s by psychologists, including (1934); in “biological threat”, used by endocrinologist , by metaphor with stress in physics (force on an object) in the 1930s, and popularized by same in the 1950s.


  1. The internal distribution of force per unit area (pressure) within a body reacting to applied forces which causes strain or deformation and is typically symbolised by σ
  2. externally applied to a body which cause internal stress within the body.
  3. Emotional pressure suffered by a human being or other animal.
    Go easy on him, he's been under a lot of stress lately.
  4. The emphasis placed on a syllable of a word.
    Some people put the stress on the first syllable of “controversy”; others put it on the second.
  5. Emphasis placed on words in speaking.
  6. Emphasis placed on a particular point in an argument or discussion (whether spoken or written).


  1. To apply force to (a body or structure) causing strain.
  2. To apply emotional pressure to (a person or animal).
  3. To emphasise (a syllable of a word).
    “Emphasis” is stressed on the first syllable, but “emphatic” is stressed on the second.
  4. To emphasise (words in speaking).
  5. To emphasise (a point) in an argument or discussion.
    I must stress that this information is given in strict confidence.


emphasise/emphasize emphasise/emphasize emphasise/emphasize, underline