- the act of stretching or straining.
- the state of being stretched or strained.
- mental or emotional strain; intense, suppressed suspense, anxiety, or excitement.
- a strained relationship between individuals, groups, nations, etc.
- (not in current use) pressure, especially of a vapor.
- the longitudinal deformation of an elastic body that results in its elongation.
- the force producing such deformation.
- Electricity. electromotive force; potential.
- Machinery. a device for stretching or pulling something.
- a device to hold the proper tension on the material being woven in a loom.
- to subject (a cable, belt, tendon, or the like) to tension, especially for a specific purpose.
Origin of tension
Examples from the Web for tension
Yes, cops are under stress and tension (though their jobs are far less dangerous than normally supposed).We Need Our Police to Be Better Than This
December 31, 2014
“This tension was not well received at the Vatican,” according to Tosatti.Is The Pope Unprotected Now That He’s Fired the Head of the Swiss Guards?
Barbie Latza Nadeau
December 5, 2014
That's a step forward from the tension of the past two years.Beijing’s ‘Star Trek’ APEC Summit
November 11, 2014
Really, sortition strikes at the tension at the heart of elective representative democracy.Is It Time to Take a Chance on Random Representatives?
November 8, 2014
For instance, when a couple is having trouble, the tension and hostility can bleed into BDSM scenes.Coming Out Kinky to Your Doctor, in Black and Blue
October 25, 2014
Dick, too, had felt the tension of an emotion far beyond that of the usual things.
The great bow creaked and groaned and the cord vibrated with the tension.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
It seemed to relieve the tension drawn by the other woman's torment.
There was some tension of mind or muscle that kept sleep far from him.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
Whether this tension was felt by the Honourable George, I had no means of knowing.Ruggles of Red Gap
Harry Leon Wilson
- the act of stretching or the state or degree of being stretched
- mental or emotional strain; stress
- a situation or condition of hostility, suspense, or uneasiness
- physics a force that tends to produce an elongation of a body or structure
- voltage, electromotive force, or potential difference
- (in combination)high-tension; low-tension
- a device for regulating the tension in a part, string, thread, etc, as in a sewing machine
- knitting the degree of tightness or looseness with which a person knits
Word Origin and History for tension
1530s, "a stretched condition," from Middle French tension, from Latin tensionem (nominative tensio) "a stretching" (in Medieval Latin "a struggle, contest"), noun of state from tensus, past participle of tendere "to stretch," from PIE root *ten- "stretch" (see tenet). The sense of "nervous strain" is first recorded 1763. The meaning "electromotive force" (in high-tension wires) is recorded from 1802.
- The act or process of stretching something tight.
- The condition of so being stretched.
- A force tending to stretch or elongate something.
- The partial pressure of a gas, especially dissolved in a liquid such as blood.
- Mental, emotional, or nervous strain.
- Barely controlled hostility or a strained relationship between people or groups.
- A force that tends to stretch or elongate something.
- An electrical potential (voltage), especially as measured in electrical components such as transformers or power lines involved in the transmission of electrical power.