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tension

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noun American English pronunciation: tension /ˈtenʃ(ə)n/ 
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singulartension
pluraltensions

Related dictionary definitions

  1. 1
    [uncountable] the feeling of being so nervous or worried that you cannot relax
    ease the tension:

    I tried to ease the tension (=make it less strong) with a joke.

    nervous tension:

    Symptoms include nervous tension, depression, and insomnia.

  2. 2
    [countable/uncountable] the feeling caused by a lack of trust between people, groups, or countries who do not agree about something and may attack each other

    racial/political/social tensions

    tension between:

    Measures are needed to reduce tension between the two states.

  3. 3
    [countable/uncountable] a situation in which opposing aims, ideas, or influences cause problems

    There is bound to be a certain tension between the freedom of individuals and the need for public safety.

  4. 4
    [uncountable] the degree to which something such as a rope or muscle is pulled tight

    Pull in the sail by increasing the tension of the rope.

    Can you feel the tension in your neck and shoulders?

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