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Pronunciation: re'lak-sa'shun


  1. Loosening, lengthening, or lessening of tension in a muscle.
  2. Loss of adequate muscle tone (pelvic relaxation episiotomy).
  3. In nuclear magnetic resonance, relaxation is the decay in magnetization of protons after the direction of the surrounding magnetic field is changed; the different rates of relaxation for individual nuclei and tissues are used to provide contrast in imaging.

[L. relaxatio (see relax)]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.