Word family noun tenseness tension adjective tense verb tense adverb tensely
From King Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Physics
tensionten‧sion /ˈtenʃən/ ●●○ W3 AWL noun 1 nervous feeling [uncountable]NERVOUSWORRIED a nervous worried feeling that makes it impossible for you to relaxtense The tension was becoming unbearable, and I wanted to scream.reduce/relieve/ease etc tension Exercise is the ideal way to relieve tension after a hard day.2 no trust [countable usually plural, uncountable]TRUST the feeling that exists when people or countries do not trust each other and may suddenly attack each other or start arguingpolitical/racial/social etc tension In those days, there was a great deal of racial tension on campus.tension between The obvious tension between Warren and Anne made everyone else uncomfortable.3 different influences [countable, uncountable]DIFFERENT if there is tension between two things, there is a difference between the needs or influences of each, and that causes problemstension between In business, there’s always a tension between the needs of customers and shareholders.4 tightness [uncountable]TIGHT tightness or stiffness in a wire, rope, muscle etc Tension in the neck muscles can cause headaches. Muscle tension can be a sign of stress.5 force [uncountable]HP the amount of force that stretches something This wire will take 50 pounds tension.tension on There was a lot of tension on the wire before it snapped.COLLOCATIONSMeaning 1: a nervous worried feeling that makes it impossible for you to relaxadjectivesunbearableThe tension was almost unbearable by the time we reached the decisive last round.nervous tensionThe night before the wedding my mother was in a state of nervous tension.high tensionThere was a moment of high tension as the firemen entered the burning building.dramatic tension (=the tension you feel when you are not sure quite what will happen in a story)This uncertainty adds to the film’s dramatic tension.verbsreduce/ease/relieve tensionBreathing deeply helps to clear my mind and reduce tension.sense the tensionShe could sense the tension in the room.phrasesa state of tensionMarjorie lived in a constant state of tension waiting for his phone calls.an atmosphere of tensionVoting took place in an atmosphere of tension. COLLOCATIONSMeaning 2: the feeling that exists when people or countries do not trust each other and may suddenly attack each other or start arguingadjectivesracial tensionRacial tension boiled over and riots quickly spread.social tensionThe economic crisis was accompanied by mounting social tension.political tensionThe heightened political tension could easily spill over into violence.tension is/remains highAfter the election, political tension remains high.increasing/growing/mounting/rising tensionThere are reports of increasing tension in some areas.heightened tension (=greater than before)a time of heightened tension between the two countriesverbsdefuse tension (=make a situation more friendly)He searched for ways of defusing racial tension.raise/increase the tensionThe arrests only served to raise the tension.phrasesa source of tensionThis agreement should remove a major source of tension among America’s allies.
Examples from the Corpus
tensionTension in the region has grown due to recent bombings.A crowd gathered and tension mounted till the riot broke out.But tensions continue to boil over.Any experienced masseur can tell how often, as they release muscle tension, tears are shed.The rope can take up to 300 pounds of tension.racial tensionIn general terms, the greater the area of the sail, the higher the tension on the line.The tension was high in Mexico as the day of the decision approached.The room was filled with tension as students waited for the test to begin.The atmosphere in her house is thick with tension.Her voice trembled with tension.reduce/relieve/ease etc tensionAnd it is proven to lead to stronger, more solid bones, relieve tension, depression and insomnia.Authorities claim that a short nap can reduce tension and revitalize you.Effective discipline reduces tension and clarifies for children their role, responsibilities, and identity in the world.Nixon cited the potential for reducing tensions between the two nations.Chewing gives psychological satisfaction, and even in scientific experiments the chewing of gum has been found to help reduce tension.She was pleased to learn relaxation techniques to help reduce tension that might arise in the future.For some, it's the chewing itself that relieves tension.The talks were due to include discussions of measures to reduce tension between the two states and to promote bilateral exchanges.tension betweenThe conflict is typical of the tension between developers and residents.Dan struggled to reduce the tension between work and family life.tension onThere is a lot of tension on the wire.
Origin tension (1500-1600) French Latin tensio, from tendere; TEND