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n 1 a  :  the act or action of stretching or the condition or degree of being stretched to stiffness <muscular >   b  :  STRESS 1b  2 a  :  either of two balancing forces causing or tending to cause extension  b  :  the stress resulting from the elongation of an elastic body  3  :  inner striving, unrest, or imbalance often with physiological indication of emotion  4  :  PARTIAL PRESSURE <arterial carbon dioxide ten*sion*al adj ten*sion*less adj 

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