[ ten-shuh n ]
/ ˈtɛn ʃən /


verb (used with object)

to subject (a cable, belt, tendon, or the like) to tension, especially for a specific purpose.

Origin of tension

1525–35; < Latin tēnsiōn- (stem of tēnsiō) a stretching. See tense1, -ion


ten·sion·al, adjectiveten·sion·less, adjectiveo·ver·ten·sion, nounsu·per·ten·sion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for tension

British Dictionary definitions for tension

/ (ˈtɛnʃən) /


Derived forms of tension

tensional, adjectivetensionless, adjective

Word Origin for tension

C16: from Latin tensiō, from tendere to strain
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

Medical definitions for tension

[ tĕnshən ]


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.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for tension

[ tĕnshən ]

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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.