A seizing of property without legal process to force payment of a debt. (noun)
To cause strain or anxiety to someone. (verb)
To retain someoneâ€™s property against the payment of a debt; to distrain. (verb)
To treat an object, such as an antique, to give it an appearance of age. (verb)
Examples of word distress
But had he put the thing thus plainly, the fact itself would have been doubted; that _the sight of our friends in distress raises in us greater fear for ourselves than the sight of others in distress_.
If someone gets in distress from the heat they can ask that the flap be opened for them to leave but the round is then started over from the beginning.
Carl: Nations have been in distress from the days of Julius Caesar.
"To gie a hand in distress is guid i 'the sight of God."
My immediate inclination would be to investigate more closely the reason for their screaming --- after all they may have been in distress from a source that was not easily apparent.