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

Examples of TENS in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a non-invasive therapy that uses low-level electrical currents to alleviate pain. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 5 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'TENS.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1980, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of TENS was in 1980

Dictionary Entries Near TENS

Cite this Entry

“TENS.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/TENS. Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


abbreviation or noun
: transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
For TENS, electrodes that send out tiny electric impulses are placed on the skin.Dana Sullivan, Women's Sports & Fitness
: 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
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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