- Tension is physical or mental strain, the force created by pulling something tight or a strain in a relationship.
- An example of tension is the feeling of working to meet an established deadline.
- An example of tension is pulling the two ends of a rubber band further and further apart from each other.
- An example of tension is an awkward feeling between two friends after a big fight.
tension definition by Webster's New World
- a tensing or being tensed
- mental or nervous strain, often accompanied by muscular tautness
- a state of strained relations; uneasiness due to mutual hostility
- a device for regulating tension or tautness, as of thread in a sewing machine
- loosely the expansive force, or pressure, of a gas or vapor
- stress on a material produced by the pull of forces tending to cause extension
- a force or combination of forces exerting such a pull against the resistance of the material
- a balancing of forces or elements in opposition
Origin: ; from Middle French or L: Middle French ; from Classical Latin tensio ; from tensus: see tense
- tensional adjective
tension definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- a. The act or process of stretching something tight.b. The condition of so being stretched; tautness.
- a. A force tending to stretch or elongate something.b. A measure of such a force: a tension on the cable of 50 pounds.
- a. Mental, emotional, or nervous strain: working under great tension to make a deadline.b. Barely controlled hostility or a strained relationship between people or groups: the dangerous tension between opposing military powers.
- A balanced relation between strongly opposing elements: “the continuing, and essential, tension between two of the three branches of government, judicial and legislative” (Haynes Johnson).
- The interplay of conflicting elements in a piece of literature, especially a poem.
- A device for regulating tautness, especially a device that controls the tautness of thread on a sewing machine or loom.
- Electricity Voltage or potential; electromotive force.
Origin: Latin tēnsiō, tēnsiōn-, a stretching out, from tēnsus, past participle of tendere, to stretch; see tense1.
- tenˈsion·al adjective
tension - Medical Definition
noun Abbr. T
- The act or process of stretching something tight.
- The condition of so being stretched.
- A force tending to stretch or elongate something.
- The partial pressure of a gas, especially dissolved in a liquid such as blood.
- Mental, emotional, or nervous strain.
- Barely controlled hostility or a strained relationship between people or groups.
tension - Science Definition
- A force that tends to stretch or elongate something.
- An electrical potential (voltage), especially as measured in electrical components such as transformers or power lines involved in the transmission of electrical power.