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tension

play
noun ten·sion \ˈten(t)-shən\

Definition of tension

  1. 1a :  inner striving, unrest, or imbalance often with physiological indication of emotionb :  a state of latent hostility or opposition between individuals or groupsc :  a balance maintained in an artistic work between opposing forces or elements

  2. 2a :  the act or action of stretching or the condition or degree of being stretched to stiffness :  tautnessb :  stress 1b

  3. 3a :  either of two balancing forces causing or tending to cause extensionb :  the stress resulting from the elongation of an elastic body

  4. 4 :  a device to produce a desired tension (as in a loom)

tensional

play \ˈten(t)-sh(ə-)nəl\ adjective

tensionless

play \ˈten(t)-shən-ləs\ adjective

Examples of tension in a Sentence

  1. You can see she is just filled with tension about her job.

  2. The dramatic tension was very satisfying.

  3. The author resolves the tension too soon.

  4. Political tensions in the region make it unstable.

  5. Do you sense the tension between those two?

  6. There was a lot of tension at the meeting.

  7. The book describes the tension-filled days before the war.

  8. He felt a tension between duty and love.

  9. There will always be some tension between the desire to reduce risk and the desire to make as much money as possible.

Recent Examples of tension from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of tension

Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin tension-, tensio, from tendere


2

tension

verb ten·sion

Definition of tension

tensioned

;

tensioning

play \ˈten(t)-sh(ə-)niŋ\
  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to subject to tension; especially :  to tighten to a desired or appropriate degree

tensioner

play \-sh(ə-)nər\ noun

First Known Use of tension

1891



TENSION Defined for English Language Learners

tension

play
noun

Definition of tension for English Language Learners

  • : a feeling of nervousness that makes you unable to relax

  • : a feeling of nervousness, excitement, or fear that is created in a movie, book, etc.

  • : a state in which people, groups, countries, etc., disagree with and feel anger toward each other


TENSION Defined for Kids

tension

play
noun ten·sion \ˈten-shən\

Definition of tension for Students

  1. 1 :  the act of straining or stretching :  the condition of being strained or stretched I adjusted the strap's tension.

  2. 2 :  a state of worry or nervousness

  3. 3 :  a state of unfriendliness There was tension between the two groups.


Medical Dictionary

tension

play
noun ten·sion \ˈten-chən\

Medical Definition of tension

  1. 1a:  the act or action of stretching or the condition or degree of being stretched to stiffness muscular tensionb:  stress 1b

  2. 2a:  either of two balancing forces causing or tending to cause extensionb:  the stress resulting from the elongation of an elastic body

  3. 3:  inner striving, unrest, or imbalance often with physiological indication of emotion

  4. 4:  partial pressure

tensional

\ˈtench-nəl, -ən-əl\play adjective

tensionless

\ˈten-chən-ləs\play adjective


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