ten·​sile ˈten(t)-səl How to pronounce tensile (audio)
 also  ˈten-ˌsī(-ə)l
: capable of tension : ductile
: of, relating to, or involving tension
tensile stress
tensility noun

Examples of tensile in a Sentence

the tensile strength of steel cable
Recent Examples on the Web These blades can withstand the high tensile force that the frame applies to the blade. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, 19 Jan. 2023 Her voice, agile and tensile, is the thing that propelled her from a career as a kid on Broadway (in Les Miz and Ragtime) to Spring Awakening and Glee. Vulture, 2 Oct. 2022 The architect designed one that was supported by tensile forces, a structural building technique Piano has used throughout his career, most notably in his design for the Pompidou Center and the Columbus Exposition in Genoa. Diana Budds, Curbed, 7 June 2022 Fullertubes also have a range of optical and tensile properties that the researchers are still exploring. James R. Riordon, Quanta Magazine, 20 Dec. 2022 There, hostile giant insects swarm about, and hungry, tensile vines are forever threatening to drag outsiders beneath the otherwise barren surface. Justin Changfilm Critic, Los Angeles Times, 13 June 2022 The finished car sits on a Lotus architecture which is more advanced than the underpinnings of any of its cousins, one that incorporates a new aluminum and high tensile steel structure and an 800-volt battery pack. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 29 Mar. 2022 In Litchfield, the generally boxy and horizontal design schemes employed the same light, tensile quality of the architect's white structures in Europe. Troy McMullen, ABC News, 9 Nov. 2021 The unit itself features a large 42 inch HD touchscreen and a high tensile aluminum frame. Stefani Sassos, Ms, Rdn, Cso, Cdn, Nasm-Cpt, Good Housekeeping, 24 June 2021

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

Word History


borrowed from New Latin tensilis, from Latin tendere "to extend outward, stretch" + -tilis "subject to, susceptible to (the action of the verb)" — more at tender entry 3

First Known Use

1626, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tensile was in 1626

Dictionary Entries Near tensile

Cite this Entry

“Tensile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tensile. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

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