ten·​ter·​hook | \ ˈten-tər-ˌhu̇k How to pronounce tenterhook (audio) \

Definition of tenterhook

: a sharp hooked nail used especially for fastening cloth on a tenter
on tenterhooks
: in a state of uneasiness, strain, or suspense the waiting kept us on tenterhooks

Examples of tenterhook in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Still on tenterhooks after the gripping final scene of Outlander's season premiere? Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Outlander Sneak Peek: Jamie's Aunt Jocasta Welcomes the Frasers to River Run," 7 Nov. 2018 China’s tech businesses have been on tenterhooks in recent months. Yoko Kubota, WSJ, "Trade War Punctures China’s Pride in Its Technology," 28 June 2018 Hondurans have been on tenterhooks since last year, when T.P.S. designation for their country was up for renewal. Miriam Jordan, New York Times, "Trump Administration Ends Protected Status for Thousands of Hondurans," 4 May 2018 Herein lies dark soundscaping, tropicalia on tenterhooks, broken beat, Tuareg melodies, Bahía drumming. New York Times, "The Playlist: Christina Aguilera’s Bizarre Puzzle, and 13 More New Songs," 4 May 2018 While that's left traders on tenterhooks, some are arguing conditions are ripe for a market rebound. Andreea Papuc, Bloomberg.com, "Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day," 25 Mar. 2018 In Westchester, however, the Senate contest between Assemblywoman Shelley B. Mayer, a Democrat, and Julie Killian, a Republican and former deputy mayor in Rye, has both parties on tenterhooks. Lisa W. Foderaro, New York Times, "Special Elections in New York on Tuesday Will Decide 11 Races," 22 Apr. 2018 The world was on tenterhooks until the following morning, waiting to see if, and how, the president would tweet in response to the entire situation. Graeme Mcmillan, WIRED, "While You Were Offline: The Final Days of Paul Ryan," 15 Apr. 2018 Specifically, Remington — indeed, the entire firearms industry — is on tenterhooks waiting for a potential landmark ruling from the Connecticut Supreme Court. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "Is the Sandy Hook massacre the real impetus behind the Remington Arms bankruptcy?," 27 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tenterhook.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tenterhook

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tenterhook

tenter entry 1 + hook entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near tenterhook

tented wagon





tenth card


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Time Traveler for tenterhook

The first known use of tenterhook was in the 15th century

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tenterhook

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