Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Stress and Strain

Stress vs Strain

Physics is a science that studies matter and its actions through time and space. Together with natural philosophy and natural science, it analyzes nature to provide an understanding of how the world and the universe behave.

It is closely related to other sciences such as mathematics, ontology, chemistry, geology, cosmology, and astronomy. It involves the study of the different forces such as stress that can be applied to an object which can cause it to change and the resulting deformation that the object goes through which is called the strain.

Stress is a force that can cause a change in a physical body. It is the tension that is produced that can cause a body to deform. It is the quantitative measurement of the amount of force that is held within an object. Stress can be measured and is dependent on the applied force within an area. It is the resistance or internal response of an object to an external pressure. Stress can occur even without strain, but strain cannot exist without stress.

The word “stress” comes from the Middle English word “destresse” which means “distress.” It in turn comes from the Old French word “estrece” meaning “oppression” or “narrowness” from the Latin word “strictus” which means “to draw tight.”

Strain is the change in shape or form of an object when stress is applied. Under applied forces, a physical body is deformed or altered. This is called strain. It only occurs when stress is present, and it is a concept that has no unit of measure. It is synonymous with the term “deformation” which is what happens when stress is applied. Most objects respond to stress or pressure by changing their forms according to how the pressure or stress is applied to them.

The word “strain” comes from the Middle English word “streinen” which is derived from the Old French word “estreindre” or “estrein” which means “to press together” and also from the Latin word “stringere” which means “to bind tightly.”
An example is when stretching a steel wire. Stress is applied when stretching it so that it becomes longer than it originally was, and the change in length that it undergoes is the strain. Stress may also be applied through bending or shearing.


1.Stress is defined as a force that can cause a change in an object or a physical body while strain is the change in the form or shape of the object or physical body on which stress is applied.
2.Stress can occur without strain, but strain cannot occur with the absence of stress.
3.Stress can be measured and has a unit of measure while strain does not have any unit and, therefore, cannot be measured.
4.Strain is an object’s response to stress while stress is the force that can cause strain in an object.
5.Stress comes from the Latin word “strictus” which means “to draw tight” while “strain” comes from the Latin word “stringere” which means “to bind tightly.”

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  1. very nice explanation……..really helpful……

    thank you soo much

  2. thank u……. very much…. loved the inclusion of summary …

  3. Very..appropriate explanation…..

  4. Neat explanation…

  5. Very good explanation…. Thanks

  6. Thanks….really helpful…

  7. Thnx!!nice explanation.

  8. Thank you very very much…. Sir
    It is very clearly and neat and understandable explanation……

  9. Thanks a lot very useful

  10. “Stress is defined as a force that can cause a change in an object or a physical body…”. This is not a good definition. Stress has units of force per area, similar to pressure, not force. To equate stress with force causes confusion with students because forces balance (according to Newton) and stresses do not.

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