• noun: unhappiness or pain
  • noun: seizure and detention of the goods of another as pledge or to obtain satisfaction of a claim by the sale of the goods seized
  • verb: to worry or upset (someone)
  • verb: to subject to great strain or difficulties
  • usually used as '(be) distressed'
  • synonyms: sorrow, suffering, calamity


  • The Coast Guard responded to the ship's 'distress signal/call'. [=signal or call for help]

  • She's chosen to devote her life to helping those 'in distress'. [='in trouble, in need']

  • He suffered severe emotional 'distress' as a result of the accident.

Movie clips

Movie quotes

  • (..) - Good evening, M. The prime minister's waiting for an update. Proceed with your briefing, Mr Tanner. Thank you. Yes, after the distress signal, your helicopter took off and the Russians had three MiGs intercept it. What do you think the base is used for ? We suspected it might be (..)
    1995 GoldenEye
  • (..) - After you, Moneypenny. - No, I insist. You first. - Good evening, . - Tanner. What's up ? minutes ago, we intercepted a distress call from a supposedly abandoned radar station at Severnaya. Look. - We found a match. Your missing Tiger. - In the middle of northern Russia ? (..)
    1995 GoldenEye
  • (..) - Lifebelts on ! - What's the ruckus ? Just put your lifebelts on ! (Crewman) CQD ? Sir ? That's right. CQD. The distress call. That's our position. Tell whoever responds that we're going down by the head... ..and need immediate assistance. Blimey ! (..)
    1997 Titanic