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shear stress

noun, Physics.
1.
the external force acting on an object or surface parallel to the slope or plane in which it lies; the stress tending to produce shear.
Also, shearing stress.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for shear stress

shear stress

noun
1.
the form of stress in a body, part, etc, that tends to produce cutting rather than stretching or bending
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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shear stress in Science
shear stress  
A form of stress that subjects an object to which force is applied to skew, tending to cause shear strain. For example, shear stress on a block of wood would arise by fixing one end and applying force to this other; this would tend to change the block's shape from a rectangle to a parallelogram. See also strain.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for shear stress

force tending to cause deformation of a material by slippage along a plane or planes parallel to the imposed stress. The resultant shear is of great importance in nature, being intimately related to the downslope movement of earth materials and to earthquakes. Shear stress may occur in solids or liquids; in the latter it is related to fluid viscosity.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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