[ ten-suh l, -sil or, esp. British, -sahyl ]
/ ˈtɛn səl, -sɪl or, esp. British, -saɪl /


of or relating to tension: tensile strain.
capable of being stretched or drawn out; ductile.

Origin of tensile

From the New Latin word tēnsilis, dating back to 1620–30. See tense1, -ile

Related forms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tensile

British Dictionary definitions for tensile


/ (ˈtɛnsaɪl) /


of or relating to tension
sufficiently ductile to be stretched or drawn out

Derived Forms

tensilely, adverbtensility (tɛnˈsɪlɪtɪ) or tensileness, noun

Word Origin for tensile

C17: from New Latin tensilis, from Latin tendere to stretch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012