• synonyms


[ten-suh l, -sil or, esp. British, -sahyl]
See more synonyms for tensile on Thesaurus.com
  1. of or relating to tension: tensile strain.
  2. capable of being stretched or drawn out; ductile.
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Origin of tensile

From the New Latin word tēnsilis, dating back to 1620–30. See tense1, -ile
Related formsten·sil·i·ty [ten-sil-i-tee] /tɛnˈsɪl ɪ ti/, ten·sile·ness, nounten·sile·ly, adverbnon·ten·sile, adjectivenon·ten·sil·i·ty, nounun·ten·sile, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for tensile

soft, malleable, flexile, adjustable, bending, ductile, elastic, extensible, extensile, formative, impressionable, limber, lithe, moldable, plastic, pliable, pliant, spongy, springy, stretch

Examples from the Web for tensile

Historical Examples of tensile

  • The tensile strength of that thread is correctly adjusted to the weight of the model.

    Toy Shop

    Henry Maxwell Dempsey

  • Did you ever calculate the tensile strength of the material from which you blew the bubble?

  • The tensile stress on the steel may be 16,000 lb per sq. in.

  • The tensile strength of wood is least affected by drying, as a rule.

  • So was the gadget that reduced the tensile strength of concrete to about that of a good grade of marshmallow.

    Anything You Can Do ...

    Gordon Randall Garrett

British Dictionary definitions for tensile


  1. of or relating to tension
  2. sufficiently ductile to be stretched or drawn out
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Derived Formstensilely, 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

Word Origin and History for tensile


1620s, from Modern Latin tensilis "capable of being stretched," from Latin tensus, past participle of tendere "to stretch" (see tenet).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper