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.
- ten·sion·al, adjective
- ten·sion·less, adjective
- o·ver·ten·sion, noun
- su·per·ten·sion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use tension in a sentence
Modern keyboards are ergonomic, so they ease tension and make typing a smoother and more satisfying experience.
Local officials had feared the president’s trip could further strain tensions in the city.
While the pandemic dominated Friday’s press conference, Merkel is also battling geopolitical tensions.‘Things will become more difficult:’ Merkel tries to sell debt-averse Germany on her ambitious COVID spending plan | Bernhard Warner | August 28, 2020 | Fortune
Most organizations are like stretched rubber bands, snapping back immediately back to normal once the tension is gone.COVID-19 has spurred rapid transformation in health care. Let’s make sure it stays that way | jakemeth | August 20, 2020 | Fortune
Rising tensions between the United States and China, meanwhile, threatens trade between the world’s two largest economies.S&P 500 hits a new record, erasing last of pandemic losses | Verne Kopytoff | August 18, 2020 | Fortune
Yes, cops are under stress and tension (though their jobs are far less dangerous than normally supposed).
But still the Middle East conflict does cause tension between many in these two communities.
“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 | THE DAILY BEAST
That's a step forward from the tension of the past two years.
The increasing tension between Obama's team and Bibi's reflects this basic divergence in interests.Why’s Al Qaeda So Strong? Washington Has (Literally) No idea | Bruce Riedel | November 9, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The controlling leaders being out of gear the machine did not run smoothly: there was nothing but friction and tension.Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison
It depends upon the fact that bile acids lower surface tension.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
During so long drawn out a suspense I tried to ease the tension by dictation.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
Thus the tension which serves to start the movement is intense, though the masses involved are not very great.Outlines of the Earth's History | Nathaniel Southgate Shaler
Throughout the country-side, wherever the echo of the wail was heard, a tension fell upon everything.Kari the Elephant | Dhan Gopal Mukerji
British Dictionary definitions for tension
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
- tensional, adjective
- tensionless, adjective
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
Scientific definitions for tension
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.