distress' call"

1. a prearranged communication code sign indicating that the sender is in a situation of peril, distress, or the like, as SOS, Mayday, etc. Cf. distress signal (def. 1).
2. a communication prompted by or indicating distress: The hospital sent out distress calls for all available stocks of the antitoxin.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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