How does one say "stress" and "stressed" in Esperanto? I am looking for a word used in these contexts:

  • I am very stressed right now because of my upcoming exams.
  • Stress is a common cause of headaches.
  • Chefs have to be able to handle stress.
  • I've wondered about this before. I'm now trying to figure out how in the world I missed this question when it was first asked back in October! Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 23:16

4 Answers 4


This surprised me when I was a learner, but the word is streĉo.

The word streso does exist, but I didn't mention it because it's not in wide use. It's not in Wells, for example, and not well attested to in the Tekstaro.

The first line above was my original answer. The second line was my response to the first request for clarification. Additional clarification below.

Consider the examples listed in PIV under streĉo

  • la vivo devus esti streĉa bataloZ
  • malstreĉu vin k iom ripozu

This certainly sounds like "stress" in the general, every day sense.

Consider the following comments from expert Esperanto speakers

Renato Corsetti Mi mem uzas la saman vorton. En okazo de bezono oni povas aldoni adjektivojn 'mensa', 'psikologia', ktp.

Derek Roff Mi uzas nur "streĉ-". "Streso" aperas en La Tekstaro nur kvarfoje en Monato, kaj unufoje en La Ondo de Esperanto. Mi ne plendas pri fakaj vortoj, sed "streso" ankoraŭ ne eniris la ĉiutagan lingvon, kaj mi ne vidas bezonon por ĝi, ekster faka uzo.

Ariel Bonkorpa por la mensa afero mi kutime uzas 'streĉo' aŭ 'streĉiĝo'.

Nomota Hiongun Kim streĉiĝo.

  • I'm curious, what about using the -ig- version of the word? Can one say that "la laboro stresigas sin"? Or is "streĉigas" better here too? Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 23:14
  • 2
    Well, it wouldn't be "sin." PIV has an example of "stresiga laboro." There are many speakers who simply don't use the word "streso." My take is that "strecxo" covers most of the meaning we think of when we say "stress" and "streso", if it should be used at all, should be used only when talking about acute medical conditions Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 1:11

Another possible word choice for "stress" is "premo". "I'm feeling stressed by my work" can be "Mi sentas fortan premon pro mia laboro".


According to PIV:

  • Streso: Akuta fiziologia k psikologia reago de vivulo al transformiĝanta medio, cele al adaptiĝo; Kronika fiziologia k psikologia reago de vivulo al akuta streso, kiam la adaptiĝo ne sukcesis (acute physiological and psychological reaction of a living thing to changing enviroment, with the goal of adaptation; chronic physiological and psychological reaction of a life form to acute stress when the adaptation doesn't succeed).
  • Streĉo: Apliko de forto al parto de la korpo aŭ al pli-malpli elasta objekto (application of force to part of the body or more or less elastic object - e.g. "stress testing" a material). However, there are a lot of instances of in Tekstaro which refer to physical manifestations or metaphors of stress/anxiety: streĉo de vizaĝo, cerbo, spirito etc.

The first word would probably work for your second example since you seem to be referring to the psychological definition of stress, while the second would probably be better for your third sentence since you are talking more about a heavy workload, etc. than a psychological state of stress. Your first sentence is kind of ambiguous to me, and could be either:

  • Mi estas tre streĉata nun pro miaj ekzamenoj - I am stretched thin because of my exams
  • Mi tre stresiĝas nun pro miaj ekzamenoj - I am in a state of psychological stress because of my exams

In other situations, related words like "nervous" or "worry" might be more appropriate.

  • As I indicated in my own answer, I'm not convinced you've broken these words down correctly, but beyond that, you might take a look at the examples you came up with. Why streĉata and not streĉita? Why "Mi tre stresiĝas nun" and not "Mi tre stresas nun"? Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 1:23
  • 2
    This answer describes the position of those (like the authors of PIV) that accept and use the neologism "streso" as a technical term with a meaning related to but not identical to the figurative meanings of "streĉo" and "streĉiĝo". However, as explained in Tomaso's answer, many competent Esperanto speakers (inluding myself, member of the Esperanto Academy) do not accept the neologism "streso", but always use the word root "streĉ-" to talk about stress in Esperanto, even when they want to refer to a particular psychological condition. Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 14:29

My preference is premsenti, which means a pressured feeling.

I am very stressed right now because of...

Nun, mi premsentiĝas pro...

Stress is a common cause of headaches.

Kutime, premsento kaŭzas doloron de la kapo.

Chefs have to be able to handle stress.

Kuiristoj devas trakti premsenton.

People use the word streĉi. However, I am not convinced about that word because it hard to know if someone is stressed out or physically stretching their body, even though context helps a lot.

  • The question is not what your preference is, but rather how is it actually said. It's also not a question of being convinced, but on what word is actually used and what those words mean. Premsenti is an extremely dubious suggestion. It does not follow from the internal logic of normal word building, it is not used in the contexts where I have used Esperanto, and it's not found in the Tekstaro. PIV does include a noun form (premsento) with a very specific definition that doesn't fit in your examples. Please correct me if I'm wrong in concluding that you came up with these yourself. Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 14:24
  • @TomasoAlexander It was suggested by ReVo. Look up distress.
    – Lumo5
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 16:38
  • Ok... I see premsenta as an explanation of angora, but no premsenti. Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 17:12
  • Mi estas premsenta = mi premsentiĝas
    – Lumo5
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 7:30
  • @TomasoAlexander: But you vote to close questions based on your preference, not on the rules.
    – Mike Jones
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 15:27

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