1the state of being stretched tight:the parachute keeps the cable under tension as it drops
the state of having the muscles stretched tight, especially as causing strain or discomfort:the elimination of neck tension can relieve headaches
a strained state or condition resulting from forces acting in opposition to each other:enormous tension can build up along the margin of the two plates and occasionally explodes into immense earthquakes
the degree of tightness of stitches in knitting and machine sewing.
2mental or emotional strain:a mind which is affected by stress or tension cannot think as clearly
a strained political or social state or relationship:the coup followed months of tension between the military and the government [count noun]:racial tensions
a relationship between ideas or qualities with conflicting demands or implications:the basic tension between freedom and control
apply a force to (something) which tends to stretch it:it is best to insert the battens before the outhaul is tensioned (as noun tensioning)the final part of assembly is the bow tensioning