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suffix forming nouns
indicating a woman who performs or is engaged in a certain activity: songstress; seamstress. Compare -ster1
[from -st(e)r + -ess]
1. importance or significance attached to a thing; emphasis: to lay stress upon good manners.
2. emphasis in the form of prominent relative loudness of a speech sound, syllable, or word as a result of special effort in utterance.
3. accent or emphasis on syllables in a metrical pattern; beat.
4. Music. accent (def. 7).
5. the physical pressure, pull, or other force exerted on one thing by another; strain.
a. the action on a body of any system of balanced forces whereby strain or deformation results.
b. the intensity of such action, as measured in pounds per square inch or pascals.
7. a specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium.
8. physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension.
9. Archaic. intense exertion.v.t.
10. to emphasize.
11. to pronounce (a speech sound, syllable, or word) with prominent loudness; accent.
12. to subject to stress.
[1275–1325; (n.) Middle English stresse, aph. variant of distresse distress]
a feminine equivalent of -ster: seamstress; songstress.