surface tension

noun

Definition of surface tension

: the attractive force exerted upon the surface molecules of a liquid by the molecules beneath that tends to draw the surface molecules into the bulk of the liquid and makes the liquid assume the shape having the least surface area

Examples of surface tension in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These agents reduce the surface tension of the liquid. Science Buddies, Scientific American, 31 Dec. 2015 Stewart has since built a body of work translating the internal turmoil of troubled characters into off-putting surface tension. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 6 Nov. 2021 Reverse-curve gutter guards (also known as surface tension) are typically made of metal or plastic and blend well with rooflines. Bridget Degnan, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 Aug. 2021 The sudden jolt from water’s relatively high surface tension of 72 millinewtons per meter. Los Angeles Times, 29 July 2021 With the help of surface tension, some geckos can run across water by undulating their bodies and slapping the surface of the water with their legs. New York Times, 26 July 2021 Various aquatic insects can use the water's surface tension to skate around along the top lakes and ponds. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 July 2021 These fragments each possess a quality akin to surface tension that drives them to reduce their surface area by adopting more stable spherical shapes, much as bubbles do, Wilson explains. Charles Q. Choi, Scientific American, 24 Feb. 2021 Within a matter of minutes, this surface tension has caused my own jaw to clench. Kari Molvar, Vogue, 21 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'surface tension.' 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 surface tension

1876, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for surface tension

Time Traveler

The first known use of surface tension was in 1876

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Dictionary Entries Near surface tension

surface switch

surface tension

surface-to-air

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Statistics for surface tension

Last Updated

8 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Surface tension.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/surface%20tension. Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for surface tension

surface tension

noun

English Language Learners Definition of surface tension

: the force that causes the molecules on the surface of a liquid to be pushed together and form a layer

surface tension

noun

Medical Definition of surface tension

: the attractive force exerted upon the surface molecules of a liquid by the molecules beneath that tends to draw the surface molecules into the bulk of the liquid and makes the liquid assume the shape having the least surface area

More from Merriam-Webster on surface tension

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about surface tension

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