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Word of the Day
Saturday, April 09, 2011

Definitions for tenterhooks

  1. On tenterhooks, in a state of uneasy suspense or painful anxiety.
  2. One of the hooks or bent nails that hold cloth stretched on a tenter.

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Citations for tenterhooks
"I wait on tenterhooks to see if my ploy of last night will yield the desired outcome." Stephanie Laurens , The Elusive Bride
"Such as the fact that this Sevarin has been dangling after Miss Stone in earnest, and the village seems to be hanging on tenterhooks in expectation of a betrothel announcement." Judith McNaught , Whitney, My Love
Origin of tenterhooks
Tenterhooks usually occurs in the idiomatic phrase "on tenterhooks," from the type of hook that that hold cloth stretched on a tenter.