Definition of Tension

1. Noun. (psychology) a state of mental or emotional strain or suspense. "Stress is a vasoconstrictor"

Exact synonyms: Stress, Tenseness
Category relationships: Psychological Science, Psychology
Generic synonyms: Mental Strain, Nervous Strain, Strain
Specialized synonyms: Yips, Breaking Point
Derivative terms: Stress, Tense

2. Noun. The physical condition of being stretched or strained. "He could feel the tenseness of her body"
Exact synonyms: Tautness, Tenseness, Tensity
Generic synonyms: Condition, Status
Specialized synonyms: Tone, Tonicity, Tonus
Derivative terms: Taut, Tense, Tense, Tense, Tense

3. Noun. A balance between and interplay of opposing elements or tendencies (especially in art or literature). "There is a tension between these approaches to understanding history"
Category relationships: Art, Artistic Creation, Artistic Production, Literature
Generic synonyms: Balance

4. Noun. (physics) a stress that produces an elongation of an elastic physical body. "The direction of maximum tension moves asymptotically toward the direction of the shear"
Category relationships: Natural Philosophy, Physics
Generic synonyms: Stress
Derivative terms: Tense, Tense

5. Noun. Feelings of hostility that are not manifest. "The diplomats' first concern was to reduce international tensions"
Exact synonyms: Latent Hostility
Generic synonyms: Antagonism, Enmity, Hostility
Derivative terms: Tensional

6. Noun. The action of stretching something tight. "Tension holds the belt in the pulleys"
Generic synonyms: Stretching
Derivative terms: Tense, Tense

Definition of Tension

1. n. The act of stretching or straining; the state of being stretched or strained to stiffness; the state of being bent strained; as, the tension of the muscles, tension of the larynx.

Definition of Tension

1. Noun. Psychological state of being tense. ¹

2. Noun. Condition of being held in a state between two or more forces, which are acting in opposition to each other ¹

3. Noun. (physics) (engineering) State of an elastic object which is stretched in a way which increases its length. ¹

4. Noun. (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). ¹

5. Noun. (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. ¹

6. Verb. To place an object in tension, to pull or place strain on. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Tension

1. to make tense [v -ED, -ING, -S] - See also: tense

Medical Definition of Tension

1. 1. The act of stretching. 2. The condition of being stretched or strained, the degree to which anything is stretched or strained. 3. Voltage. 4. The partial pressure of a gas in a fluid, for example, of oxygen in blood. Origin: L. Tensio, Gr. Tonos (13 Jan 1998)

Lexicographical Neighbors of Tension

tensile stress
tensio active
tension (current term)
tension curve
tension headache
tension pneumothorax
tension suture
tension wrench
tension wrenches

Literary usage of Tension

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Principles of General Physiology by William Maddock Bayliss (1920)
"The air in the final terminations of the branching air tubes, the alveolar air sacs, must possess, therefore, a tension in oxygen lower than that of the ..."

2. Science Abstracts by Institution of Electrical Engineers (1900)
"The figure refers to the case where the energy corresponding to all the losses is supplied to one winding only, in this instance the high tension winding. ..."

3. Elements of the Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates by Gustav Mann, Walther Löb, Henry William Frederic Lorenz, Robert Wiedersheim, William Newton Parker, Thomas Jeffery Parker, Harry Clary Jones, Sunao Tawara, Leverett White Brownell, Max Julius Louis Le Blanc, Willis Rodney Whitney, John Wesley Brown, Wi (1907)
"SURFACE-tension OF LIQUIDS Surface-tension. Method of Measuring. — While gases tend to expand and increase their volume, the surface of a liquid tends to ..."

4. A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism by James Clerk Maxwell (1904)
"Electric tension. 48.] Since the surface of a conductor is an equipotential ... This force, which acts outwards as a tension on every part of the conductor, ..."

5. A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism by James Clerk Maxwell (1873)
"Electric tension. 48.] Since the surface of a conductor is an equipotential ... This force which acts outwards as a tension on every part of the conductor ..."

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