stress


stress
stressless, adj.stresslessness, n.
/stres/, n.
1. importance or significance attached to a thing; emphasis: to lay stress upon good manners.
2. Phonet. emphasis in the form of prominent relative loudness of a syllable or a word as a result of special effort in utterance.
3. Pros. accent or emphasis on syllables in a metrical pattern; beat.
4. emphasis in melody, rhythm, etc.; beat.
5. the physical pressure, pull, or other force exerted on one thing by another; strain.
6. Mech.
a. the action on a body of any system of balanced forces whereby strain or deformation results.
b. the amount of stress, usually measured in pounds per square inch or in pascals.
c. a load, force, or system of forces producing a strain.
d. the internal resistance or reaction of an elastic body to the external forces applied to it.
e. the ratio of force to area.
7. Physiol. a specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism.
8. physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension: Worry over his job and his wife's health put him under a great stress.
9. a situation, occurrence, or factor causing this: The stress of being trapped in the elevator gave him a pounding headache.
10. Archaic. strong or straining exertion.
v.t.
11. to lay stress on; emphasize.
12. Phonet. to pronounce (a syllable or a word) with prominent loudness: Stress the first syllable of "runner." Stress the second word in "put up with." Cf. accent (def. 18).
13. to subject to stress or strain.
14. Mech. to subject to stress.
[1275-1325; (n.) ME stresse, aph. var. of distresse DISTRESS; (v.) deriv. of the n.]
Syn. 8. anxiety, burden, pressure, worry.

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I
In phonetics, an emphasis given to a syllable of speech by making it louder than the rest of the word.

This emphasis may have no meaning; for example, Czech words are regularly stressed on the first syllable. It may, however, distinguish the meanings of similarly spelled but differently pronounced words; for example, permit is stressed on the first syllable as a noun and on the second as a verb. It may also be applied to a word to express its importance in a sentence. See also intonation.
II
In psychology, a state of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium.

Stress is an unavoidable effect of living and is an especially complex phenomenon in modern technological society. It has been linked to coronary heart disease, psychosomatic disorders, and various other mental and physical problems. Treatment usually consists of a combination of counseling or psychotherapy and medication.
III
In the physical sciences and engineering, the force per unit area within materials that arises from externally applied forces, uneven heating, or permanent deformation.

Normal stress refers to the stress caused by forces that are perpendicular to a cross-section area of the material. Shear stress arises from forces that are parallel to the plane of the cross section. Stress is expressed as the quotient of a force divided by an area.

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      in phonetics, intensity given to a syllable of speech by special effort in utterance, resulting in relative loudness. This emphasis in pronunciation may be merely phonetic (i.e., noticeable to the listener, but not meaningful), as it is in French, where it occurs regularly at the end of a word or phrase; or it may serve to distinguish meanings, as in English, in which, for example, stress differentiates the noun from the verb in the word “permit.”

      in physical sciences and engineering, force per unit area within materials that arises from externally applied forces, uneven heating, or permanent deformation and that permits an accurate description and prediction of elastic (elasticity), plastic (plasticity), and fluid behaviour. A stress is expressed as a quotient of a force divided by an area.

      There are many kinds of stress. Normal stress arises from forces that are perpendicular to a cross-sectional area of the material, whereas shear stress arises from forces that are parallel to, and lie in, the plane of the cross-sectional area. If a bar having a cross-sectional area of 4 square inches (26 square cm) is pulled lengthwise by a force of 40,000 pounds (180,000 newtons) at each end, the normal stress within the bar is equal to 40,000 pounds divided by 4 square inches, or 10,000 pounds per square inch (psi; 7,000 newtons per square cm). This specific normal stress that results from tension is called tensile stress. If the two forces are reversed, so as to compress the bar along its length, the normal stress is called compressive stress. If the forces are everywhere perpendicular to all surfaces of a material, as in the case of an object immersed in a fluid that may be compressed itself, the normal stress is called hydrostatic pressure, or simply pressure. The stress beneath the Earth's surface that compresses rock bodies to great densities is called lithostatic pressure.

      Shear stress in solids results from actions such as twisting a metal bar about a longitudinal axis as in tightening a screw. Shear stress in fluids results from actions such as the flow of liquids and gases through pipes, the sliding of a metal surface over a liquid lubricant, and the passage of an airplane through air. Shear stresses, however small, applied to true fluids produce continuous deformation or flow as layers of the fluid move over each other at different velocities like individual cards in a deck of cards that is spread. For shear stress, see also shear modulus.

      Reaction to stresses within elastic solids causes them to return to their original shape when the applied forces are removed. Yield stress, marking the transition from elastic to plastic behaviour, is the minimum stress at which a solid will undergo permanent deformation or plastic flow without a significant increase in the load or external force. The Earth shows an elastic response to the stresses caused by earthquakes in the way it propagates seismic waves, whereas it undergoes plastic deformation beneath the surface under great lithostatic pressure.

▪ psychology and biology
      in psychology and biology, any strain or interference that disturbs the functioning of an organism. The human being responds to physical and psychological stress with a combination of psychic and physiological defenses. If the stress is too powerful, or the defenses inadequate, a psychosomatic or other mental disorder may result.

      Stress is an unavoidable effect of living and is an especially complex phenomenon in modern technological society. There is little doubt that an individual's success or failure in controlling potentially stressful situations can have a profound effect on his ability to function. The ability to “cope” with stress has figured prominently in psychosomatic research. Researchers have reported a statistical link between coronary heart disease and individuals exhibiting stressful behavioral patterns designated “Type A.” These patterns are reflected in a style of life characterized by impatience and a sense of time urgency, hard-driving competitiveness, and preoccupation with vocational and related deadlines.

      Various strategies have been successful in treating psychological and physiological stress. Moderate stress may be relieved by exercise and any type of meditation (e.g., yoga or Oriental meditative forms). Severe stress may require psychotherapy to uncover and work through the underlying causes. A form of behaviour therapy known as biofeedback enables the patient to become more aware of internal processes and thereby gain some control over bodily reactions to stress. Sometimes, a change of environment or living situation may produce therapeutic results.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Stress — may refer to: Mechanical * Stress (physics), the average amount of force exerted per unit area. * Yield stress, the stress at which a material begins to deform plastically. * Compressive stress, the stress applied to materials resulting in their… …   Wikipedia

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  • stress — n 1 Stress, strain, pressure, tension are comparable terms when they apply to the action or effect of force exerted within or upon a thing. Stress and strain are the comprehensive terms of this group and are sometimes used interchangeably {put… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • stress — strèss s.m.inv. 1. TS psic. reazione emozionale a una serie di stimoli esterni che mettono in moto risposte fisiologiche e psicologiche di natura adattiva | impropr., ogni stimolo che induce stress 2. CO colloq., tensione nervosa, logorio… …   Dizionario italiano

  • stress — [stres] n. [ME stresse < OFr estresse < VL * strictia < L strictus,STRICT; also, in some senses, aphetic < DISTRESS] 1. strain or straining force; specif., a) force exerted upon a body, that tends to strain or deform its shape b) the… …   English World dictionary

  • Stress — (str[e^]s), v. t. 1. To press; to urge; to distress; to put to difficulties. [R.] Spenser. [1913 Webster] 2. To subject to stress, pressure, or strain. [1913 Webster] 3. To subject to phonetic stress; to accent. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] 4. To place… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • stress — [n1] emphasis accent, accentuation, beat, force, import, importance, significance, urgency, weight; concepts 65,668 Ant. ignorance, unimportance stress [n2] physical or mental pressure affliction, agony, alarm, albatross*, anxiety,… …   New thesaurus

  • stress|or — «STREHS uhr», noun. Psychology. any stimulus that produces stress or strain: »Experimental stressors, for obvious reasons, are very mild, the most usual being distracting or painful noises, electric shocks, the stress of examinations (New… …   Useful english dictionary


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