English dictionary

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English noun: tension

1. tension (state) (psychology) a state of mental or emotional strain or suspense

SamplesHe suffered from fatigue and emotional tension.
Stress is a vasoconstrictor.

Synonymsstress, tenseness

Broader (hypernym)mental strain, nervous strain, strain

Narrower (hyponym)breaking point, yips

Domain categorypsychological science, psychology

2. tension (state) the physical condition of being stretched or strained

SamplesIt places great tension on the leg muscles.
He could feel the tenseness of her body.

Synonymstautness, tenseness, tensity

Broader (hypernym)condition, status

Narrower (hyponym)tone, tonicity, tonus

3. tension (state) a balance between and interplay of opposing elements or tendencies (especially in art or literature)

SamplesThere is a tension created between narrative time and movie time.
There is a tension between these approaches to understanding history.

Broader (hypernym)balance

Domain categoryart, artistic creation, artistic production, literature

4. tension (phenomenon) (physics) a stress that produces an elongation of an elastic physical body

SamplesThe direction of maximum tension moves asymptotically toward the direction of the shear.

Broader (hypernym)stress

Domain categorynatural philosophy, physics

5. tension (state) feelings of hostility that are not manifest

SamplesHe could sense her latent hostility to him.
The diplomats' first concern was to reduce international tensions.

Synonymslatent hostility

Broader (hypernym)antagonism, enmity, hostility

6. tension (act) the action of stretching something tight

SamplesTension holds the belt in the pulleys.

Broader (hypernym)stretching

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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