One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small ball which is intended to be used in some way to relieve stress, especially one made of malleable material which is squeezed and manipulated with the fingers.
1980s; earliest use found in The Los Angeles Times.
A small ball made of malleable material that is intended to be squeezed or manipulated with the fingers to relieve stress.‘Lydia and Jett were squeezing stress balls as they studied their microbiology textbooks’
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