\ ˈtenz How to pronounce TENS (audio) \

Definition of TENS

1 [transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation] : electrical stimulation of the skin to relieve pain by interfering with the neural transmission of signals from underlying pain receptors
2 [transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator] : a device used for TENS

First Known Use of TENS

1980, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Cite this Entry

“TENS.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/TENS. Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

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abbreviation or noun
\ ˈtenz How to pronounce TENS (audio) \

Medical Definition of TENS

1 : transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation For TENS, electrodes that send out tiny electric impulses are placed on the skin.— Dana Sullivan, Women's Sports & Fitness, July/August 1999
2 : a device used for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation : transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator The TENS runs on batteries and is the size of a beeper. It has small cables with pads on the end that deliver small electrical shocks to the area in pain.— Harry Wessel, The Chicago Tribune, 8 Jan. 1997

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