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"Stressed" and "Stressful"

are these two words both adjectives?

And what is the difference between the two?

In the dictionary it says:

stressed - feeling very worried or anxious.

stressful - full of or causing stress.

If you are worried or anxious, then aren't you full of stress?

So do these two sentences mean the same thing?

  • I am very stressed.
  • I am very stressful.
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  • 2
    "Stressed" can also be used to refer to materials that carry a load. "Stress" is an engineering concept, and materials like steel can become "stressed"
    – mstorkson
    Jan 25, 2017 at 14:31

1 Answer 1

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You are correct that both are adjectives, but both carry different meanings.

stressed - feeling very worried or anxious.

stressful - full of or causing stress.

Events or circumstances can be stressful, in that they cause somebody to feel stressed. In short, one is cause, and one is effect.

For example:

  • I had a stressful day at work today. (the day was stressful)

  • I was feeling pretty stressed because of the deadline at work today. (I felt stress because of work)

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  • Is it common or is it OK to say: I have stress instead of I've got stressed? Do they carry the same meaning?
    – Amir F
    Oct 12, 2020 at 19:41
  • It is ok, but not common, to say "I have stress." "I am stressed (out)" is the common phrase. It would be common to say "I have stress at work" to describe a habitual situation. Feb 21, 2021 at 10:21

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