American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The act or process of stretching something tight.
- n. The condition of so being stretched; tautness.
- n. A force tending to stretch or elongate something.
- n. A measure of such a force: a tension on the cable of 50 pounds.
- n. Mental, emotional, or nervous strain: working under great tension to make a deadline.
- n. Barely controlled hostility or a strained relationship between people or groups: the dangerous tension between opposing military powers.
- n. A balanced relation between strongly opposing elements: "the continuing, and essential, tension between two of the three branches of government, judicial and legislative” ( Haynes Johnson).
- n. The interplay of conflicting elements in a piece of literature, especially a poem.
- n. A device for regulating tautness, especially a device that controls the tautness of thread on a sewing machine or loom.
- n. Electricity Voltage or potential; electromotive force.
- v. To subject to tension; tighten.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In phytogeography, same as tension-line.
- n. The act of stretching, straining, or making tense; the state of being stretched or strained to stiffness; the condition of being bent or strained.
- n. In mech., stress, or the force by which a bar, rod, string, or the like is pulled when forming part of any system in equilibrium or in motion.
- n. In physics. a constrained condition of the particles of bodies, arising from the action of antagonistic forces, in which they tend to return to their former condition; elastic force. Tension may be present in a solid body, and also in a liquid in the case of surface-tension (which see), but not in a gas. What is commonly called the tension of a gas is properly its pressure simply—due. according to the kinetic theory of gases (see
gas, 1). to the innumerable impacts of the moving molecules against the confining surface; good writers avoid the use of tension in this sense.
- n. In statical elect., the mechanical stress across a dielectric, due to accumulated charges, as in a condenser; hence, the same as surface-density (the amount of electricity at any point of the surface of a charged conductor); more commonly used, in dynamical electricity, to mean about the same as difference of potential: thus, a current of high tension is popularly a current of high electromotive force. A body is said to have a high-tension charge, or a charge of high-tension electricity, and a conductor to carry a high-tension current, when the stress in the medium surrounding the body or the conductor is high. In magnetism, an electromagnet surrounded by a coil of many turns and high electrical resistance was called by Henry a tension magnet.
- n. Mental strain, stretch, or application; strong or severe intellectual effort; strong excitement of feeling; great activity or strain of the emotions or the will.
- n. A strained state of any kind: as, political tension; social tension.
- n. An attachment to a sewing-machine for regulating the strain of the thread. It is made in a variety of forms, the aim being in all cases to put a pressure on the thread to prevent it from running from the spool too freely, and to adjust the strain on the thread to the thickness of the cloth.
- To make tense; give the right degree of tension to; draw out; strain.
- n. Psychological state of being tense.
- n. Condition of being held in a state between two or more forces, which are acting in opposition to each other
- n. physics (engineering) State of an elastic object which is stretched in a way which increases its length.
- n. physics (engineering) Force transmitted through a rope, string, cable, or similar object (used with prepositions on, in, or of, e.g., "The tension in the cable is 1000 N", to convey that the same magnitude of force applies to objects attached to both ends).
- n. physics Voltage. Usually only the terms low tension, high tension, and extra-high tension, and the abbreviations LT, HT, and EHT are used. They are not precisely defined; LT is normally a few volts, HT a few hundreds of volts, and EHT thousands of volts.
- v. To place an object in tension, to pull or place strain on.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The act of stretching or straining; the state of being stretched or strained to stiffness; the state of being bent strained.
- n. Fig.: Extreme strain of mind or excitement of feeling; intense effort.
- n. The degree of stretching to which a wire, cord, piece of timber, or the like, is strained by drawing it in the direction of its length; strain.
- n. (Mech.) The force by which a part is pulled when forming part of any system in equilibrium or in motion.
- n. A device for checking the delivery of the thread in a sewing machine, so as to give the stitch the required degree of tightness.
- n. (Physics) Expansive force; the force with which the particles of a body, as a gas, tend to recede from each other and occupy a larger space; elastic force; elasticity.
- n. (Elec.) The quality in consequence of which an electric charge tends to discharge itself, as into the air by a spark, or to pass from a body of greater to one of less electrical potential. It varies as the quantity of electricity upon a given area.
- n. a balance between and interplay of opposing elements or tendencies (especially in art or literature)
- n. (physics) a stress that produces an elongation of an elastic physical body
- n. the action of stretching something tight
- n. the physical condition of being stretched or strained
- n. feelings of hostility that are not manifest
- n. (psychology) a state of mental or emotional strain or suspense
- From Middle French tension. (Wiktionary)
- Latin tēnsiō, tēnsiōn-, a stretching out, from tēnsus, past participle of tendere, to stretch; see tense1. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“•tension or compression shall not exceed the extreme fibre stress given above for rolled beams and shapes, or in case of built members the above tension and compression stresses -”
“The main tension is between communist Russia and capitalist America.”
“We do find out, but the ending seems to diffuse the tension is a less than satisfactory way.”
“Because inevitably, as my past experience has shown to be true, if the tension is there, it will eventually develop.”
“Antagonistic would be too strong," DeKay says, "but the tension is always there because the underlying theme here is trust: At any time, he can run, and we're both aware of that.”
“In his Nobel prize acceptance speech, Obama acknowledged what he described as the "tension" between a foreign policy based on interests and one based on values.”
“Throughout, the tension is about waiting – first for love and then for death to call.”
“Meanwhile Banner has to leave cause the tension is a bout to piss him off …”
“There's an incredible tension between old Communist China and a new capitalist future; this tension is at the heart of the novel.”
“Especially since the tension is there throughout the film, and I do believe that McCarthy knows what he's doing -- although he alleges that he doesn't.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘tension’.
A list of words which yield surprising, beautiful, amusing, or otherwise noteworthy images here on Wordnik.
Use these and get promoted
A list of words that are odd or words that I have looked up.
Being a list of words which have "especially" in their definitions.
With focus on non-classical styles, but not excluding terms of the latter.
Everyone goes through a relationship in their lives, at moments this could be the best thing that could've ever happened. The next you wonder why did you let it happen..
Words used in the visual design field
Just what it says. Archery rocks.
This is a list of academic words for students learning English as a Second or Foreign Language. It includes 570 word families that often appear in academic texts. It does not include words that are...
Very basic words for ESL students.
Looking for tweets for tension.