A stress that tends to change the length of a body.♦ Compressive stress is axial stress that tends to cause a body to become shorter along the direction of applied force.
Tensile stress is axial stress that tends to cause a body to become longer along the direction of applied force. Compare shear stress strain. See also torsion.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.