Distress vs Swivet - What's the difference?

distress | swivet |

As nouns the difference between distress and swivet

is that distress is (cause of) discomfort while swivet is (also swivvet) a state or condition of haste, flutter; extreme discomposure or distress; irritation, exasperation, annoyance.

As a verb distress

is to cause strain or anxiety to someone.




  • (Cause of) discomfort.
  • * {{quote-book
  • , year=1833 , author=John Trusler , title=The Works of William Hogarth: In a Series of Engravings , chapter=8 citation , passage=To heighten his distress , he is approached by his wife, and bitterly upbraided for his perfidy in concealing from her his former connexions (with that unhappy girl who is here present with her child, the innocent offspring of her amours, fainting at the sight of his misfortunes, being unable to relieve him farther), and plunging her into those difficulties she never shall be able to surmount.}}
  • Serious danger.
  • * {{quote-book
  • , year=1719 , author=Daniel Defoe , title=Robinson Crusoe , chapter=13 citation , passage=I immediately considered that this must be some ship in distress , and that they had some comrade, or some other ship in company, and fired these gun for signals of distress, and to obtain help.}}
  • * {{quote-book
  • , year=1759 , author=Voltaire , title=Candide , chapter=42 citation , passage=At length they perceived a little cottage; two persons in the decline of life dwelt in this desert, who were always ready to give every assistance in their power to their fellow-creatures in distress .}}
  • (legal) A seizing of property without legal process to force payment of a debt.
  • (legal) The thing taken by distraining; that which is seized to procure satisfaction.
  • * Spenser
  • If he were not paid, he would straight go and take a distress of goods and cattle.
  • * Blackstone
  • The distress thus taken must be proportioned to the thing distrained for.


  • To cause strain or anxiety to someone.
  • * {{quote-book
  • , year=1827 , author=Stendhal , title=Armance , chapter=31 citation , passage=She respects me, no doubt, but has no longer any passionate feeling for me, and my death will distress her without plunging her in despair.}}
  • (legal) To retain someone‚Äôs property against the payment of a debt; to distrain.
  • *
  • To treat an object, such as an antique, to give it an appearance of age.
  • She distressed the new media cabinet so that it fit with the other furniture in the room.




    (en noun)
  • (Also swivvet) A state or condition of haste, flutter; extreme discomposure or distress; irritation, exasperation, annoyance.
  • * "Theo wasn't perfect either - buried son, divorced a wife, never learned to drive, plagued by swivets." ("The Nerve" by Lee Henderson appearing in The Walrus July/August 2009)
  • References

    * Webster's New International Dictionary 2nd Ed. 1949; Answers.com ;Your Dictionary.com