Tension definition

tĕnshən
To subject to tension; tighten.
verb
17
12
A state of strained relations; uneasiness due to mutual hostility.
noun
6
4
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.

noun
4
2
Mental or nervous strain, often accompanied by muscular tautness.
noun
3
2
Condition of being held in a state between two or more forces, which are acting in opposition to each other.
noun
2
1
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The act or process of stretching something tight.
noun
1
0
An electrical potential (voltage), especially as measured in electrical components such as transformers or power lines involved in the transmission of electrical power.
1
1
The interplay of conflicting elements in a piece of literature, especially a poem.
noun
0
0
A device for regulating tautness, especially a device that controls the tautness of thread on a sewing machine or loom.
noun
0
0
(electricity) Voltage or potential; electromotive force.
noun
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0
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The act or process of stretching something tight.
noun
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0
The condition of so being stretched; tautness.
noun
0
0
A force tending to stretch or elongate something.
noun
0
0
A measure of such a force.

A tension on the cable of 50 pounds.

noun
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0
Mental, emotional, or nervous strain.

Working under great tension to make a deadline.

noun
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0
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Barely controlled hostility or a strained relationship between people or groups.

The dangerous tension between opposing military powers.

noun
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A balancing of forces or elements in opposition.
noun
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0
Stress on a material produced by the pull of forces tending to cause extension.
noun
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0
A force or combination of forces exerting such a pull against the resistance of the material.
noun
0
0
The condition of so being stretched; tautness.
noun
0
0
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A force tending to stretch or elongate something.
noun
0
0
A measure of such a force.

A tension on the cable of 50 pounds.

noun
0
0
Psychological state of being tense.
noun
0
0
(physics, engineering) State of an elastic object which is stretched in a way which increases its length.
noun
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0
(physics, engineering) Force transmitted through a rope, string, cable, or similar object (used with prepositions on, in, or of, e.g., "The tension in the cable is 1000 N", to convey that the same magnitude of force applies to objects attached to both ends).
noun
0
0
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(physics) Voltage. Usually only the terms low tension, high tension, and extra-high tension, and the abbreviations LT, HT, and EHT are used. They are not precisely defined; LT is normally a few volts, HT a few hundreds of volts, and EHT thousands of volts.
noun
0
0
To place an object in tension, to pull or place strain on.

We tensioned the cable until it snapped.

verb
0
0
A tensing or being tensed.
noun
3
4
A device for regulating tension or tautness, as of thread in a sewing machine.
noun
1
2
To subject to tension.
verb
1
2
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A force that tends to stretch or elongate something.
1
2
A balanced relation between strongly opposing elements.
noun
14
16

A high-tension cable.

noun
0
2
(loosely) The expansive force, or pressure, of a gas or vapor.
noun
0
2

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
tension
Plural:
tensions

Origin of tension

  • Latin tēnsiō tēnsiōn- a stretching out from tēnsus past participle of tendere to stretch tense1

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle French tension.

    From Wiktionary