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pre·​stress (ˌ)prē-ˈstres How to pronounce prestress (audio)
prestressed; prestressing; prestresses

transitive verb

: to introduce internal stresses into (something, such as a structural beam) to counteract the stresses that will result from applied load (as in incorporating cables under tension in concrete)


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pre·​stress ˈprē-ˌstres How to pronounce prestress (audio)
: the stresses introduced in prestressing
: the process of prestressing
: the condition of being prestressed

Examples of prestress in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
According to its website, Spancrete produces precast, prestressed concrete products that are used in commercial, industrial, institutional, residential and multifamily construction projects in the Midwest and Southeast. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 Nov. 2019 A start-up ecosystem An anchor of this district is the Halle Freyssinet — a gargantuan railway yard built by the engineer (Eugène Freyssinet) who pioneered the use of prestressed concrete. The Washington Post, The Denver Post, 5 Jan. 2017
Markham puts the Boring brick up against a new red clay brick, a used red clay brick, a cinderblock-style brick with what look like prestress wires through the middle, and a plain cinderblock brick. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 8 Oct. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prestress.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1934, in the meaning defined above


1934, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of prestress was in 1934

Dictionary Entries Near prestress

Cite this Entry

“Prestress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

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