ten·​sile | \ ˈten(t)-səl How to pronounce tensile (audio) also ˈten-ˌsī(-ə)l \

Definition of tensile

1 : capable of tension : ductile
2 : of, relating to, or involving tension tensile stress

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Other Words from tensile

tensility \ ten-​ˈsi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce tensility (audio) \ noun

Examples of tensile in a Sentence

the tensile strength of steel cable
Recent Examples on the Web Hayashi, who studies the tensile properties of spider silks, now leaves her apartment only to feed her animals. The New Yorker, "at the epicenter of the pandemic.," 27 Apr. 2020 This material has high tensile-impact and flexural strength. Craig Caudill, Outdoor Life, "11 Used Firearms that Make Dependable Camp Guns," 13 Nov. 2019 Snelson, whose sculptures used the same design principles but were fabricated from stainless steel poles and tensile stainless steel wires, had studied with the American architect, futurist and inventor Buckminster Fuller. Wendy Moonan, Smithsonian, "How Biology Inspires Future Technology," 27 Aug. 2019 Like all the places in the body where ligaments and muscles attach to bones, overuse and tensile stress can trigger further bone growth, forming enthesophytes. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Debunked: The absurd story about smartphones causing kids to sprout horns," 21 June 2019 Its newest project, a self-assembling table, is built of simply wood and tensile fabric, which folds into place to create a table with no more power than a little nudge from a human. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Behold MIT's Amazing Self-Assembling Table," 21 Apr. 2015 As more nanotubes got incorporated into the bundle, the tensile stress at failure dropped, bottoming out at somewhere around 50 GigaPascals, or less than half the strength of an individual nanotube. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Forget carbon fiber—we can now make carbon nanotube fibers," 15 May 2018 His novels are constructed, with intricate beauty, from images and scenes that don’t so much flow together as cling together in vibrating, tensile fashion. BostonGlobe.com, "Michael Ondaatje crafts a superb wartime mystery," 3 May 2018 Its underside, however, will experience severe tensile stress as the beam deforms. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Why Concrete Is So Much Stronger With Just a Little Bit of Rebar," 27 Apr. 2018

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

1626, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tensile

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

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Time Traveler for tensile

Time Traveler

The first known use of tensile was in 1626

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Statistics for tensile

Cite this Entry

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

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More Definitions for tensile


How to pronounce tensile (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tensile

technical : relating to the amount that something (such as a wire) can stretch or be stretched without breaking

More from Merriam-Webster on tensile

Nglish: Translation of tensile for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tensile for Arabic Speakers

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