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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Stress n.
 1. Distress. [Obs.]
    Sad hersal of his heavy stress.   --Spenser.
 2. Pressure, strain; -- used chiefly of immaterial things; except in mechanics; hence, urgency; importance; weight; significance.
    The faculties of the mind are improved by exercise, yet they must not be put to a stress beyond their strength.   --Locke.
    A body may as well lay too little as too much stress upon a dream.   --L'Estrange.
 3. Mech. & Physics The force, or combination of forces, which produces a strain; force exerted in any direction or manner between contiguous bodies, or parts of bodies, and taking specific names according to its direction, or mode of action, as thrust or pressure, pull or tension, shear or tangential stress.
    Stress is the mutual action between portions of matter.   --Clerk Maxwell.
 4. Pron. Force of utterance expended upon words or syllables. Stress is in English the chief element in accent and is one of the most important in emphasis. See Guide to pronunciation, §§ 31-35.
 5. Scots Law Distress; the act of distraining; also, the thing distrained.
 Stress of voice, unusual exertion of the voice.
 Stress of weather, constraint imposed by continued bad weather; as, to be driven back to port by stress of weather.
 To lay stress upon, to attach great importance to; to emphasize. “Consider how great a stress is laid upon this duty.” --Atterbury.
 To put stress upon, or To put to a stress, to strain.