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tension- Originally a medical term for the condition of being physically strained.
- Back … tense as a tiger’s —D. H. Lawrence
- Body rigid from shoulder to belly as though he had been stricken with elphantiasis —Kenzaburo Oë
- (There continued to be) a certain strain, like dangerously stretched rubber bands —Thalia Selz
- Feel tension rising off me like a fever —Richard Ford
- Feel the tension coming out of Justin like a fever —Paige Mitchell
- Felt his insides drawn together like the lips of a wound —Helen Hudson
- Felt like a swimmer about to dive —Marguerite Yourcenar
- His solar plexus knotted up like a sea anemone —Ursula Le Guin
- In times of stress I enter into a semicomatose state like an instinct-driven opossum —Leigh Allison Wilson
- My back became like a stick —Natsume Söseki
- My stomach drops as if I’m in a balky elevator —W. P. Kinsella
- (Looked about as) relaxed as a safecracker —Joseph Wambaugh
- Spines … stiffened like pulled twine —Louise Erdrich
- Stiffen like a cat that’s been hit by something —Shirley Ann Grau
- (When I approach you) stiffen like an egg white —Diane Ackerman
- Stiffen like a stump —David Wagoner
- Strung up like a piano wire —Elizabeth Spencer
- (Body) taut like wire —Anaïs Nin
- Tense and careful as a man handling a bomb —Dorothy Canfield Fisher
See Also: CAUTION
- Tense and fluttering like a fish out of water —George Garrett
See Also: TREMBLING
- Tense and still like a figure in a frieze —Ross Macdonald
See Also: IMMOBILITY
- Tense as an animal in fear, ready to snap or go limp beneath its keeper’s grasp —Louise Erdrich
- (I lay) tense as a piano wire —W. P. Kinsella
- Tense as a player on the bench —Maureen Howard, New York Times Magazine, May 25, 1986
- Tense as a thoroughbred at the starting gate —Anon television feature on New York marathoners, November 1, 1986
- Tense as a wound spring —Joseph Heller
- (Voices) tense as barks —Edward Hoagland
- (People were as) tense as fiddle strings —Dorothy Canfield Fisher
- Tense as if my neck were tipped back, my mouth agape, and I was preparing for the dentist’s needle —W. P. Kinsella
- Tense as rectitude —Norman Mailer
- Tension broke like heat after a thunderstorm in a nervous burst of laughter —Lael Tucker Wertenbaker
- Tension ran like a red-hot wire through the men —Marjory Stoneman Douglas
- Tension stretching like taut wires across the room —Ross Macdonald
- Tension … vibrates like a melancholy bell —David K. Shipler, New York Times Book Review, March 1, 1987
- Tight as a duck —Graham Masterton
The simile was found as part of a sex scene. In full context it reads: “With her own fingers, she slipped him inside her, and although she was as tight as a duck, she was also warm and wet and irresistible.”
- (His hand was) tight as a knot —Ann Beattie
- Tight as a man going to the electric chair —Norman Mailer
Mailer before being interviewed by Mike Wallace.
- Tight as a quivering string —David Nevin
- Tight as a sheet on a hospital bed —Anon
- (Throats were) tight as tourniquets —Karl Shapiro
- Tightly controlled … as if he was tied down to his desk by leather straps —Anon White House colleague about Robert McFarlane during the Iran-Contra scandal, quoted in New York Times, March 2, 1987
- (He always came back from the ballfield) turned tighter than the bolts on an automobile tire —Norman Keifetz
The simile from a novel about a baseball player (The Sensation) continues as follows: “By that jack-handle known as ‘being a pro’.”
|Noun||1.||tension - (psychology) a state of mental or emotional strain or suspense; "he suffered from fatigue and emotional tension"; "stress is a vasoconstrictor"|
mental strain, nervous strain, strain - (psychology) nervousness resulting from mental stress; "his responsibilities were a constant strain"; "the mental strain of staying alert hour after hour was too much for him"
yips - nervous tension that causes an athlete to fail (especially causes golfers to miss short putts); "to avoid the yips he changed his style of putting"
breaking point - (psychology) stress at which a person breaks down or a situation becomes crucial
|2.||tension - the physical condition of being stretched or strained; "it places great tension on the leg muscles"; "he could feel the tenseness of her body"|
condition, status - a state at a particular time; "a condition (or state) of disrepair"; "the current status of the arms negotiations"
|3.||tension - a balance between and interplay of opposing elements or tendencies (especially in art or literature); "there is a tension created between narrative time and movie time"; "there is a tension between these approaches to understanding history"|
artistic creation, artistic production, art - the creation of beautiful or significant things; "art does not need to be innovative to be good"; "I was never any good at art"; "he said that architecture is the art of wasting space beautifully"
literature - creative writing of recognized artistic value
balance - a state of equilibrium
|4.||tension - (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"|
natural philosophy, physics - the science of matter and energy and their interactions; "his favorite subject was physics"
stress - (physics) force that produces strain on a physical body; "the intensity of stress is expressed in units of force divided by units of area"
|5.||tension - feelings of hostility that are not manifest; "he could sense her latent hostility to him"; "the diplomats' first concern was to reduce international tensions"|
|6.||tension - the action of stretching something tight; "tension holds the belt in the pulleys"|
stretching - act of expanding by lengthening or widening
strain relaxation, serenity, tranquillity, calmness, peacefulness, restfulness
The tension between the two countries is likely to remain → La tension entre les deux pays semble appelée à durer., Les tensions entre les deux pays semblent appelées à durer.
Laughing has been shown to relieve tension → Il a été démontré que le rire atténue la tension.