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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.
4. 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).
5. The interplay of conflicting elements in a piece of literature, especially a poem.
6. A device for regulating tautness, especially a device that controls the tautness of thread on a sewing machine or loom.
7. Electricity Voltage or potential; electromotive force.
tr.v. ten·sioned, ten·sion·ing, ten·sions
To subject to tension; tighten.

[Latin tēnsiō, tēnsiōn-, a stretching out, from tēnsus, past participle of tendere, to stretch; see tense1.]

ten′sion·al adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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Adj.1.tensional - of or relating to or produced by tension
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
* The fibers must stick together so that tensional force is transmitted from fiber to fiber and this way distributed within the bundle.
Normal faults are often associated with divergent (tensional) boundaries.
What stands out among the various twists and turns of the theoretical and political debates of contemporary `cultural struggles over the fate of the self is the contested, tensional, critical and, above all, political nature of the process of identity building' (p.
A substantial difference of the ex tensional viscosity between PMMA/PVB and PC is observed at larger strains.
Later, Fuller would use ideas of floating compression, as demonstrated by the sculpture, within the coined term "tensegrity." Tensegrity structures can be divided into two categories: geodesic domes, constructed from struts forming a rigid framework of triangles, pentagons or hexagons that evenly distribute compressive and tensional forces.
For example, there are three compression members and three tensional members in a tetrahedron (compression`holds the events together', while tension`pulls them apart').
The result could be an increase in the dynamic integrity of the cell, a feature of which would be increased tensional integrity, especially that of the cytoskeleton.