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factor of safety

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noun
  1. the ratio of the maximum stress that a structural part or other piece of material can withstand to the maximum stress estimated for it in the use for which it is designed.
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Origin of factor of safety

First recorded in 1855–60
Also called safety factor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for factor of safety

factor of safety

noun
  1. the ratio of the breaking stress of a material or structure to the calculated maximum stress when in useAlso called: safety factor
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012