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Distress Definition

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Other Distress Definition

[n] the seizure and holding of property as security for payment of a debt or satisfaction of a claim; "Originally distress was a landloard's remedy against a tenant for unpaid rents or property damage but now the landlord is given a landlord's lien"
[n] psychological suffering; "the death of his wife caused him great distress"
[n] extreme physical pain; "the patient appeared to be in distress"
[n] a state of adversity (danger or affliction or need); "a ship in distress"; "she was the classic maiden in distress"
[v] cause mental pain to


distraint, hurt, suffering

Misc. Definitions

\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; anguish of body or mind; as, to suffer distress from the gout, or from the loss of friends. Not fearing death nor shrinking for distress. --Shak.
2. That which occasions suffering; painful situation; misfortune; affliction; misery. Affliction's sons are brothers in distress. --Burns.
3. A state of danger or necessity; as, a ship in distress, from leaking, loss of spars, want of provisions or water, etc.
4. (Law) (a) The act of distraining; the taking of a personal chattel out of the possession of a wrongdoer, by way of pledge for redress of an injury, or for the performance of a duty, as for nonpayment of rent or taxes, or for injury done by cattle, etc. (b) The thing taken by distraining; that which is seized to procure satisfaction. --Bouvier. Kent. Burrill. If he were not paid, he would straight go and take a distress of goods and cattle. --Spenser. The distress thus taken must be proportioned to the thing distrained for. --Blackstone. {Abuse of distress}. (Law) See under {Abuse}. Syn: Affliction; suffering; pain; agony; misery; torment; anguish; grief; sorrow; calamity; misfortune; trouble; adversity. See {Affliction}.
\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. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed. --2 Cor. iv.
2. To compel by pain or suffering. Men who can neither be distressed nor won into a sacrifice of duty. --A. Hamilton.
3. (Law) To seize for debt; to distrain. Syn: To pain; grieve; harass; trouble; perplex; afflict; worry; annoy.

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