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Tension   /tˈɛnʃən/   Listen
Tension

noun
1.
(psychology) a state of mental or emotional strain or suspense.  Synonyms: stress, tenseness.  "Stress is a vasoconstrictor"
2.
The physical condition of being stretched or strained.  Synonyms: tautness, tenseness, tensity.  "He could feel the tenseness of her body"
3.
A balance between and interplay of opposing elements or tendencies (especially in art or literature).  "There is a tension between these approaches to understanding history"
4.
(physics) a stress that produces an elongation of an elastic physical body.
5.
Feelings of hostility that are not manifest.  Synonym: latent hostility.  "The diplomats' first concern was to reduce international tensions"
6.
The action of stretching something tight.



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"Tension" Quotes from Famous Books



... toleration must be considerable, then. Do you suppose a water-wave is like a harp-string? Vibration is the movement of a body in a state of tension,—undulation, that of a body absolutely lax. In vibration, not an atom of the body changes its place in relation to another,—in undulation, not an atom of the body remains in the same place with regard to another. In vibration, every particle of the body ignores gravitation, ...
— The Storm-Cloud of the Nineteenth Century - Two Lectures delivered at the London Institution February - 4th and 11th, 1884 • John Ruskin

... of the children, I suppose. Though I do not shriek aloud, probably something shrieks within me. I was passing a small chapel and heard a singular voice. I don't know exactly why I went into the place, but when I sat down inside I felt the tension of the atmosphere at once. Every one looked anxious or terrified. There were pale faces and stony or wild eyes. It did not seem to be an ordinary service and voices kept breaking out with spasmodic appeals, 'Almighty God, look down ...
— Robin • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... get away." Our relations with the Porte held out a prospect of hard work, and that, he explained, was what he needed. He could never be satisfied to sit down among the ruins. I saw that, like most of us in moments of extreme moral tension, he was playing a part, behaving as he thought it became a man to behave in the eye of disaster. The instinctive posture of grief is a shuffling compromise between defiance and prostration; and pride feels the need of striking a worthier attitude in face of such a ...
— Crucial Instances • Edith Wharton

... and the nervous tension of the men it was after sunset before the roof of the fort was finished. It was agreed that the men with families should sleep in the fort that night with the single men occupying the cabins nearest ...
— A Virginia Scout • Hugh Pendexter

... place in "Dawes'," which Mavis did at her interview with Mr Skeffington Dawes (one of the directors of the firm), her first sensation was one of disappointment, perhaps consequent upon reaction from the tension in her mind until she ...
— Sparrows - The Story of an Unprotected Girl • Horace W. C. Newte

... any interesting incidents or adventures, I have let it pass by in silence. I was too busy all the time, and too lonely, to take many fresh impressions. It seemed hurry and rush, continuous noises, and tension of the nerves. I felt glad when I once more found myself on board the great liner that was ...
— The Reflections of Ambrosine - A Novel • Elinor Glyn

... Rebellion was over. A man came cycling past at a great pace, and as he went by, he shouted to Henry, "They've surrendered!" and then was gone. There was a cooler feel in the air. It seemed to him that a great tension had been relaxed ... that, after a day of intolerable heat, there had come an evening of cool winds. As he approached the city, he could see groups of people standing about in the road, and he went to one of them, and asked ...
— Changing Winds - A Novel • St. John G. Ervine

... period of terror, which had brought him dangerously near the borders of sanity, and he felt as if he could again open his eyes and breathe freely. He was not free from that nervous pressure under which he had been working, but the worst of the inner tension had relaxed and he felt the need of taking a survey of what had happened, of summarising and trying to fathom what could have been underlying his apparently unaccountable experiences. The literary ...
— The Road to Damascus - A Trilogy • August Strindberg

... almost always associated in neuroses as well as in psychoses. It is likely that their union depends upon some very general law, relating to the exhaustion of psychological forces. It is probable that the superior phenomena exact under a form of concentration, of particular tension, much more power than acts of an inferior order, although the latter seem more violent and more noisy. "When the force primitively destined to be spent for the production of a certain superior phenomenon has become impossible, derivations happen, that is to say, ...
— A Psychiatric Milestone - Bloomingdale Hospital Centenary, 1821-1921 • Various

... axle,' demonstrated my friend, 'contains the spiral spring. Before being used the spring is wound up and that very tightly—an operation which is effected by steam-engines in the workshops of the Association for Transport, the energy present in the steam being thus converted into the energy of the tension of the spring. The power thus laid up in the spring is transferred to the axle by a very simple mechanism, and is sufficient to make the wheel revolve ten thousand times even if the vehicle is tolerably heavily loaded; and as the wheel has a circumference of about six feet ...
— Freeland - A Social Anticipation • Theodor Hertzka

... shifting uneasily from one foot to the other, and looking so much like the frank, outspoken, bungling Tabitha of old, that Mrs. McKittrick could not refrain from laughing. It was an odd, hysterical, little laugh, to be sure, more pathetic than mirthful, but it relieved the sharp tension of the situation; and Gloriana, quick to take advantage of auspicious moments, broke in, "All you need to do is to say yes. We will be model housekeepers and take the best of care of ...
— Tabitha's Vacation • Ruth Alberta Brown

... tension of his nerves was unendurable. Five minutes more of anguish, and he sprang up ...
— Born in Exile • George Gissing

... were of excellent make. Made of forged steel, and breech-loaders, they ought consequently to be able to bear a considerable charge, and also have an enormous range. In fact, as regards practical effect, the transit described by the ball ought to be as extended as possible, and this tension could only be obtained under the condition that the projectile should be impelled with a ...
— The Secret of the Island • W.H.G. Kingston (translation from Jules Verne)

... not say, but there was a coldness toward Lewis that amounted to more than latent hostility. He tried to appear at ease, but it was a decided effort. There was no mistaking his relief when the tension was broken by the arrival ...
— The Treasure-Train • Arthur B. Reeve

... prevalent teaching. First, the transmission is through the ordinary cellular tissue, and not through what are called the fibrous or vascular bundles. Second, the movement is a vital one, and is effected by contraction on the side toward which the bending takes place, rather than by turgescent tension of the opposite side. The tentacle is pulled over rather than pushed over. So far ...
— Darwiniana - Essays and Reviews Pertaining to Darwinism • Asa Gray

... body sinks or floats. Yet in the case of the flat body it is not altogether inappropriate to say that the water resists penetration and thus supports the body. The modern physicist explains the phenomenon as due to surface-tension of the fluid. Of course, Galileo's disquisition on the mixing of air with the floating body is utterly fanciful. His experiments were beautifully exact; his theorizing from them was, in this instance, altogether ...
— A History of Science, Volume 2(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... government has been honored through numerous awards in public service and human rights as well as honorary degrees. He is the author of A Creative Tension—The Foreign Policy Roles of the President and Congress (2002) and How Congress Works and Why You Should Care (2004), and the coauthor of Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 ...
— The Iraq Study Group Report • United States Institute for Peace

... little to make it known; he need not—it is known beyond all telling by the one other person whom it concerns. She felt suddenly that she was safe, that his heart was torn for her sake, and that the tension of the last ten minutes had been great. It went through her with a pang, and her head swayed against his arm. In a moment she felt his lips on her hair, on her temple, and the oldest, the most familiar of all words of ...
— All on the Irish Shore - Irish Sketches • E. Somerville and Martin Ross

... avoid is any pulling or straining of the material during the operation of embroidering it. Success in avoiding this depends primarily upon the various threads being drawn at each stitch to the proper tension, so that it may just have the proper pull to keep it in its place and no more—and although a stitch too loose is bad enough, one too tight is ...
— English Embroidered Bookbindings • Cyril James Humphries Davenport

... Gravity, stress, strain, weight, tension, sag, cohesion,—a few mathematical formulas, and a knowledge of the primary laws of physics,—upon such principles as these, the world is rapidly ...
— The Warriors • Lindsay, Anna Robertson Brown

... could not hold out against such a tension,—such a bursting and wrenching and tossing,—and it ended by Colin declaring that upon the whole he would prefer making the ...
— The Boy Slaves • Mayne Reid

... fire of your revolver. We were free. But in the evening, in the train, Florence fainted. While bringing her to I perceived that one of your bullets had wounded her in the shoulder. The wound was slight and did not hurt her, but it was enough to increase the extreme tension of her nerves. When you saw us—at Le Mans station wasn't it?—she was asleep, with ...
— The Teeth of the Tiger • Maurice Leblanc

... they had passed the half-way point on their way back to the shore, Stephen and Hurka began to pull. They could get but little tension on the rope, for the boat was travelling almost as fast as they could pull it in; still, once or twice they were able to put their strength on it for a moment, and the raft moved a foot or two through the water. Again and again this manoeuvre was repeated, and ...
— With Cochrane the Dauntless • George Alfred Henty

... experiments in soap bubbles have been the inspiration of generations of students of capillarity. And if the physicist will consult with the physiological chemist he will find a mass of material of which he never dreamed where these phenomena of surface tension enter in a most direct fashion to leading questions in the ...
— College Teaching - Studies in Methods of Teaching in the College • Paul Klapper

... California Maginnis," she added for the sake of explicitness and with an impulse to relax the tension of Millard's mind ...
— The Faith Doctor - A Story of New York • Edward Eggleston

... high-tension, low-geared stenographer busy typing and re-typing forms of Agreements for Sale and Deeds, in anticipation of ...
— The Spoilers of the Valley • Robert Watson

... noise that plainly proceeded from the use of tools came to the ears of the boys. Their nerves were on the keenest tension as they reached the stern of ...
— The Submarine Boys on Duty - Life of a Diving Torpedo Boat • Victor G. Durham

... delivered his bolt, began to think less of Hilda and more of the patient. He went on with his demonstration. As for Hilda, she gradually relaxed her muscles, and, with a deep-drawn breath, resumed her natural attitude. The tension was over. They had had their little skirmish, whatever it might mean, and had it out; now, they called a truce over ...
— Hilda Wade - A Woman With Tenacity Of Purpose • Grant Allen

... necessary or required action; both words may be applied either to undertaking or to doing. Gradual (L. gradus, a step) signifies advancing by steps, and refers to slow but regular and sure progression. Slack refers to action that seems to indicate a lack of tension, as of muscle or of will, sluggish to action that seems as if reluctant ...
— English Synonyms and Antonyms - With Notes on the Correct Use of Prepositions • James Champlin Fernald

... back. She was so weak as to fall, but did not faint, nor lose consciousness for a single moment. All night she lay, her eyes wandering from side to side as in momentary expectancy of the appearance of some one. No anodyne had any effect upon her—every nerve seemed strained to its utmost tension. But she did not speak a word except at the sound of Colonel Merrick's voice or step, when she would beg piteously that he should be kept away from her. Toward morning she fell into a kind of stupor, and when she awoke ...
— The Galaxy - Vol. 23, No. 1 • Various

... bull-dog—only set determination. No one could have failed to read in it an immensely powerful will. In a curious way he seemed "on edge" all the time. His nostrils were always distended, the muscles of his lean jaw were never lax, but continually at tension, thrusting the chin forward with his teeth hard together. His eyebrows were contracted, I think, even in his sleep, and he looked at everything with a sort of quick, fierce, appearance of scrutiny, though at that time I imagined that he saw very little. He had a loud, ...
— In the Arena - Stories of Political Life • Booth Tarkington

... urine passes into the bladder; which is known by the external appearance of the lower part of the abdomen, which, when the bladder is full, seems as if contracted by a cord between the navel and the bladder; and by the tension on the region of the bladder distinguishable by the touch; or by the introduction of the catheter; the following methods of cure are frequently successful. Venesection to six or eight ounces, ten grains of calomel, and an infusion ...
— Zoonomia, Vol. II - Or, the Laws of Organic Life • Erasmus Darwin

... courtesies." The Tennessee Equal Suffrage Association gave a dinner, with Mrs. L. Crozier French, its president, as toast-mistress; the Women's Press Club had a luncheon for the visiting press representatives and the College Women's League one for its delegates. It was a relief from the tension of the week to have the last evening of the convention devoted to entertainment. Miss Zona Gale read a charming unpublished story, Friendship Village; a musical program was given by the Fiske Jubilee Singers and the convention closed with a remarkable ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume V • Ida Husted Harper

... lift, the clank of the gates as he stepped in. Once more she gazed out over the uninspiring prospect. There was a little more sunshine upon the river; more of the dusty chimney-pots seemed bathed in its silvery radiance. As she stood there, she felt herself growing calmer. The tension passed from her nerves. Her eyes grew soft again. Then an impulse came to her. She stretched out her hand for the telephone book, turned over the pages restlessly, looked through the "D's" until she found the name for which she ...
— The Great Prince Shan • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... on the ground about 5 inches to the right of a point directly under the stock. In this position the loop of the sling, starting at the lower band, passes to the right of the left wrist, and thence around the left upper arm. The loop should be so tight that about 50 pounds tension is placed on it when the position is assumed. This position is uncomfortable until practiced, when it quickly ceases to be uncomfortable. It will be steadier if small holes can be found or dug in the ground for ...
— Manual for Noncommissioned Officers and Privates of Infantry • War Department

... to make cocaine. Coca is not to be confused with cocoa, which comes from cacao seeds and is used in making chocolate, cocoa, and cocoa butter. Cocaine is a stimulant derived from the leaves of the coca bush. Depressants (sedatives) are drugs that reduce tension and anxiety and include chloral hydrate, barbiturates (Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, phenobarbital), benzodiazepines (Librium, Valium), methaqualone (Quaalude), glutethimide (Doriden), and others (Equanil, Placidyl, Valmid). Drugs are any chemical substances that effect a physical, ...
— The 1998 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... de Mattos had not been asleep. Her headache, perhaps, had kept her nerves at high tension, and made rest impossible. As she had confessed to Virginia early that morning, on discovering the name of the next landing-place, she did not like New Caledonia. The thought of the place, and the secrets it must hold, oppressed her. She wondered, with a kind of disagreeable fascination ...
— The Castle Of The Shadows • Alice Muriel Williamson

... There was an air of expectancy among the coyotes. Heads were raised between mouthfuls and all eyes were repeatedly turned toward the hills. It was the first time that Shady had heard the cry of one of the big gray hunters. She noted the tension among her new friends without reading its portent. Of them all, Breed seemed the only one unaffected. One by one the coyotes left the feast, then the remaining few sidled hurriedly away as a huge dog wolf moved swiftly across ...
— The Yellow Horde • Hal G. Evarts

... crowd was on the platform, surging round the train in every stage of intoxication. It gave me a better instance than I had yet seen of the half-savage temperament of Connaught. The tension of human excitement seemed greater in this insignificant crowd than anything I have felt among enormous mobs in ...
— The Aran Islands • John M. Synge

... of August, 1899. Lord Milner had repeatedly impressed upon the Home Government, from the middle of 1897 onwards, that 10,000 men was the minimum force consistent with safety. In view of the increased tension after Bloemfontein and of the enormous armament of the South African Republic, he felt that this minimum had become inadequate, and that it was desirable, and would strengthen the chance of a peaceful submission of the Boers, to steadily but unostentatiously ...
— Lord Milner's Work in South Africa - From its Commencement in 1897 to the Peace of Vereeniging in 1902 • W. Basil Worsfold

... and kiss it too—and that makes a tremendous difference in the tone and tension of his feelings. Unlike the lover, the husband does not think, feel, and speak in perpetual hyperboles. He does not use expressions like "beautiful tyrant, fiend angelical," ...
— Primitive Love and Love-Stories • Henry Theophilus Finck

... symptoms are induced by the painful tension of the gum, it would seem that the most rational mode of attempting their relief is by freely lancing the swollen part. Great prejudices, however, still exist in the minds of some parents against this operation. They think it gives great pain, and, if the tooth is ...
— The Maternal Management of Children, in Health and Disease. • Thomas Bull, M.D.

... miles long was at the same distance in front, continuing in its slow course for the river, but the foes in contact were having plenty of dust showers of their own. Dick's throat and mouth burned with the dust and heat of the pitiless August day, and his bones ached with the tension and the long hours in the saddle. But his spirit was high. They were holding off the Southern cavalry and he felt that they ...
— The Sword of Antietam • Joseph A. Altsheler

... will respond to genuineness in action. The world knows the value of genuineness, and it yields to that force wherever it is felt. "The world is all gates," says Emerson, "all opportunities, strings of tension ...
— The Story of the Innumerable Company, and Other Sketches • David Starr Jordan

... chambers. They could act only in their separate capacities. In a word, the perilous exigency presented was, the friends of one candidate having a majority in the Senate, and of the other in control of the House; conflicting certificates presented, upon which hinged the result, and the tension throughout the entire country assuming alarming proportions. Coupled with the question of peaceable succession to the great office was that of the durability of popular government. Tremendous issues, upon which depended unfathomable consequences, ...
— Something of Men I Have Known - With Some Papers of a General Nature, Political, Historical, and Retrospective • Adlai E. Stevenson

... found that the wrest plank (in which the tuning strings are placed), was so weakened by the extension that the treble would not stand in tune. In order to strengthen the instrument, he introduced the iron tension bar. This, like nearly all of the English improvements of the piano during the first quarter of the nineteenth century, was in the direction of greater solidity, and better resisting power to the pull ...
— A Popular History of the Art of Music - From the Earliest Times Until the Present • W. S. B. Mathews

... a helpful word or syllable in a moment. This gentle expression was the more interesting because the schoolmaster's nose, an irregular aquiline twisted a little on one side, had rather a formidable character; and his brow, moreover, had that peculiar tension which always impresses one as a sign of a keen impatient temperament: the blue veins stood out like cords under the transparent yellow skin, and this intimidating brow was softened by no tendency to baldness, for the grey bristly hair, cut down to about an inch in ...
— Adam Bede • George Eliot

... tauter and tauter until the moment of its snapping is imminent, the tension of that waiting grew more ...
— The Roof Tree • Charles Neville Buck

... "The tension of the strange situation lasted for some minutes. I had no clear vision through my spy-hole, and knew not at the first watching whether the man I saw was asleep or awake. A finer inspection of him, made with a catlike ...
— The Iron Pirate - A Plain Tale of Strange Happenings on the Sea • Max Pemberton

... Day, between the exhausting strain of high-tension work and the zeal of the young reformer, her beautiful life and brilliant fire were burned out. The committee for the prevention of tuberculosis added her case to their statistics, and the League girls bore her into the ...
— How To Write Special Feature Articles • Willard Grosvenor Bleyer

... of his pupil,—the severer drill of our day, and the greater intensity of application demanded, produce effects on the growing brain, which, in a vast number of cases, can be only disastrous. Even in girls of from fourteen to eighteen, such as crowd the normal school in Philadelphia, this sort of tension and this variety of study occasion an amount of ill-health which is sadly familiar ...
— Sex in Education - or, A Fair Chance for Girls • Edward H. Clarke

... and two narrow bridges of hard wood about two inches within the pins, over which to stretch the strings. Eight strings will make a good harp. They should be of catgut, and if you tune them in unison, the sound will be sweeter than if they are tuned in thirds or fifths. The tension should be rather slack. The ends of the box should be raised about an inch above the strings to support a thin pine board upon which the window rests. The draught of air passes over the strings stretched ...
— Harper's Young People, April 6, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... two countries agreed to normalize relations, despite continued disagreement over FYROM's use of "Macedonia." FYROM's large Albanian minority and the de facto independence of neighboring Kosovo continue to be sources of ethnic tension. ...
— The 2001 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... consequence of the divided and scattered reserves, nevertheless kept their opinions well within a small circle, knowing that even the risk of a smashing defeat was less certainly destructive, than would have been an excited debate in the newspapers. For what matters most under the kind of tension which prevailed in March, 1918, is less the rightness of a particular move than the unbroken expectation as to the source of command. Had Foch "gone to the people" he might have won the debate, but long before he could have won it, ...
— Public Opinion • Walter Lippmann

... exchanged a silent, intent look. Their faces, dusky red on the side of the glow from the fire, pallid where the electric light fell slantwise upon them from above, had for a moment a mysterious something in common. Then the tension of the glance was relaxed—and on the instant no two men in London looked ...
— The Market-Place • Harold Frederic

... unconscious of any tension. He smiled and closed his cigarette case. Then with the utmost deliberation he searched for his matches, found ...
— The Tidal Wave and Other Stories • Ethel May Dell

... opened her eyes; and her first look was at Dr. Harrison. But whether the relaxed mental tension let the bodily weakness appear, or whether the tide was at that point where it ebbs most rapidly, her words were spoken with some trouble—yet spoken as if both to make ...
— Say and Seal, Volume II • Susan Warner

... stir and move in the darkness. He crouched, with every nerve and muscle ready, and a moment later he would have relieved the tension with some sort of cry, had he not realized that it was the wooden Swiss clock above the cabinet, ...
— Phantom Wires - A Novel • Arthur Stringer

... fire. They presented a very motley appearance on arriving at the first station." Here, "a short stop was made, and a successful experiment tried to remedy the unpleasant jerks. A plan was soon hit upon and put into execution. The three links in the couplings of the cars were stretched to their utmost tension, a rail from a fence in the neighbourhood was placed between each pair of cars and made fast by means of the packing yarn from the cylinders. This arrangement improved the order of things, and it was found to answer the purpose when the signal ...
— Railway Adventures and Anecdotes - extending over more than fifty years • Various

... the nature nor the amount of our work is accountable for the frequency and severity of our breakdowns, but that their cause lies rather in those absurd feelings of hurry and having no time, in that breathlessness and tension, that anxiety of feature and that solicitude of results, that lack of inner harmony and ease, in short, by which with us the work is apt to be accompanied, and from which a European who should do the same work would nine times out of ten be free. . . ...
— Increasing Efficiency In Business • Walter Dill Scott

... began to protrude from their sockets and stare with a leaden dullness at vacancy. The color deepened in his face and became an opaque purple. His hands hung down limp, his body collapsed with a shiver, every muscle relaxed its tension and ceased from its function. The Dwarf took away his hand and the column of inert mortality ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... permitted themselves such candours; to all appearance their discussion had its usual equable quality, and I am certain that Arnold was not even aware of the tension upon his nerves. He fidgeted with the tassel of his ceinture, and she watched his moving fingers. Presently she spoke, quietly, in a ...
— Hilda - A Story of Calcutta • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... discordant detail made his eyes, still bright and youthful, all the more remarkable in his tanned face, because it had so long been ruddy with the florid hues of a Rubens; and now a certain discoloration and the deep tension of the wrinkles betrayed the efforts of a passion at odds with natural decay. Hulot was now one of those stalwart ruins in which virile force asserts itself by tufts of hair in the ears and nostrils and on the fingers, as moss grows on the almost eternal monuments ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... far and wide with a sort of mute passion which sent a thrill through me. It was as though she could not trust herself to speak, and I waited awkwardly on Providence, wishing the others were not so far off. But suddenly the tension of her mood seemed to give way. Her smile flashed out, and she turned upon me with a sweet, eager ...
— Miss Bretherton • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... to say that such thoughts took up much of my time. I'm not morbid and we never did have any sickness—we lived too sanely for that. But just as our new viewpoint on Dick relieved us of a tension which before had sapped our strength, so it was a great relief to have such insurance as this in the background of our minds. It took all the curse off sickness that it's possible to take off. In three or ...
— One Way Out - A Middle-class New-Englander Emigrates to America • William Carleton

... Peter, and his voice broke the silence of the lonely house oddly. He and Toffy had not spoken since Ross had left the room, and had not stirred from their chairs; but now the feeling of tension seemed to be broken. Toffy began to fidget with some things on a little table, and opened without thinking a carved cedar-wood work-box which had remained undisturbed until then. He found inside it a little knitted ...
— Peter and Jane - or The Missing Heir • S. (Sarah) Macnaughtan

... the day may have some benefits. Try for church entertainments. Some evenings in the neighborhood where you live there may be little entertainments. No matter how small an affair, try to go on. Get in front of an audience and feel the tension of an audience; it will give you encouragement, and on each succeeding appearance you will gain confidence and see how you "get over" with an audience. After a few appearances any feeling of stage fright will gradually disappear, and ...
— The Art of Stage Dancing - The Story of a Beautiful and Profitable Profession • Ned Wayburn

... the pediments. This roof covered the whole of the building, that is, both the cella and the colonnades on either side of it, and as the Greeks were ignorant of the principle of the triangulated truss built up of beams in compression and tension, they were at a loss to know how to carry their roof without pushing out their walls. Hence the great solidity of their buildings, and the rather clumsy expedient of the colonnades in the interiors of temples which appear to have been the ...
— The Legacy of Greece • Various

... and reached for the inkwell. With trembling, excited fingers he unfolded the contracts. He dipped his pen into the ink; he even brought it down on the paper; and then the tension broke. He sank back in his chair, a frightened, broken ...
— Lifted Masks - Stories • Susan Glaspell

... me as if—as if," she laughed self-consciously, "you would like to wring my neck. I have never done anything to create a dislike of that sort. I have never been with you without being conscious that you were repressing something, out of—well, courtesy, I suppose. There is a peculiar tension about you whenever my father is mentioned. I'm not a fool," she finished, "even if I happen to be one of what you might call the idle rich. What is the cause of ...
— Poor Man's Rock • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... invertebrates of the sea scorpion or spider type. Then there is a whole group of data which demonstrate that the primitive wishes which make up the content of a baby consciousness are determined, settled by states of relaxation or tension in different segments or areas of the vegetative apparatus. According to this, the brain enters as only one of the characters in the play of consciousness. It is just the organ of awareness by the organism of itself as an integer which ...
— The Glands Regulating Personality • Louis Berman, M.D.

... afford a piquant contrast—has done so hundreds of times. Jehiel Prince undoubtedly was gnarled and old and tough; a charming granddaughter to cajole or wheedle him in the library, or to relax his indignant tension over young men during their summer attendance on swing or hammock, would have her uses. Yet a swing or a hammock would suggest, rather than the bleak stateliness of Jehiel's urban environment, some fair, remote domain with lawns and gardens; and Jehiel ...
— On the Stairs • Henry B. Fuller

... heard the story of Henrietta Sloane, and, as we waited, I told him. Some of the tension was relaxing. He tried, in his argumentative German way, to drag me into a discussion as to the foreordination of a death that resulted from an accidental ringing of a bell. But my ears were alert for the voices near by, and soon ...
— The After House • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... tea-table, and made the grand tour at least twenty times, he placed himself with a book at the little round window, to watch for her approach. There, very still, he sat, not reading a word, continually moistening his dry lips and sighing, to relieve the tension of his heart. At last he saw her coming. She was walking close to the railings of the houses, looking neither to right nor left. She had on a lawn frock, and a hat of the palest coffee-coloured straw, with a narrow black velvet ribbon. She crossed the side street, stopped ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... recognized this favoured child of fortune in the earnest figure sitting in the obscurity of an up-town apartment, studying the walls, the ceilings, and the floors by the dim light of a lowered gas-jet. Violet Strange in society was a very different person from Violet Strange under the tension of her secret ...
— The Golden Slipper • Anna Katharine Green

... courage: he straightened out his arms, which had been bent at the elbows, relaxed the muscles which held his jaws in tension, and began cautiously to protrude his bumpy head into the light. It had been the whole time in view of all, but Judas imagined that it had been impenetrably hidden from sight by some invisible, but thick and cunning veil. ...
— The Crushed Flower and Other Stories • Leonid Andreyev

... had been the usual harmonious discord that will occur among men hard-pressed and over-worked, where nerve-tension finds vent at times in acrimony. But through all the nine long, weary years before the British had had enough, Paine was never censured with the same bitterness which fell upon the heads of Washington and Jefferson. Even Franklin came in for his share of blame, and it was shown that he had expended ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 9 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers • Elbert Hubbard

... our lives would be better, if we hadn't to hang on in the perpetual tug-of-war, like two donkeys pulling at one carrot. The ghastly tension of possessions, and struggling for possession, ...
— Touch and Go • D. H. Lawrence

... glided like a bird amidst the struggling icebergs, which her prow sent to the right-about; the brig's hull shivered under the action of the screw, and the manometer indicated a prodigious tension of steam, for it whistled with a ...
— The English at the North Pole - Part I of the Adventures of Captain Hatteras • Jules Verne

... other curves of tension which a sail assumes under the united influence of the wind, its own weight, and the particular tensions of the various ropes by which it is attached, or against which it presses, show at any moment complexities of arrangement ...
— The Harbours of England • John Ruskin

... wore out the main-spring of absolute monarchy by too protracted tension and too violent use. Fond of sway, rendered irritable by the vexations of his youth, he quelled all resistance, forbad every kind of opposition,—that of the aristocracy which manifested itself in revolt,— that of the parliaments displayed by ...
— History of the French Revolution from 1789 to 1814 • F. A. M. Mignet

... midst of great misery. She burst into uncontrollable laughter, fit after fit; so violent that Elizabeth, who came in by chance, was terrified out of her wits, and kneeling beside her mistress, implored her to be quiet. At last the paroxysm ended in complete exhaustion. The tension of the last twenty-four hours had given way, and Hilary knew her strength was gone. Yet the advertisement ought to be taken to the Times office that very night, in order to be inserted without fail ...
— Mistress and Maid • Dinah Craik (aka: Miss Mulock)

... the fourth day. When the fifth broke no man showed himself outside the walls. Except the few outposts, every male of the Monitaya malocas bided within, awaiting with growing tension the arrival of the enemy. It was more than likely, McKay had pointed out, that the main body of the barbarous force led by Schwandorf would be preceded by a handful of scouts, and quite possible that one or more of these would slip past the outguards and spy on the tribal houses. The sight of even ...
— The Pathless Trail • Arthur O. (Arthur Olney) Friel

... fine self-control. These people had courage and when they talked carelessly about things of no importance he did his best to play up. Still, although they sometimes laughed, their amusement sounded forced, there was a curious feeling of tension, and he thought Mrs. Featherstone once or twice showed signs ...
— Carmen's Messenger • Harold Bindloss

... under a parlor-lamp and read over the score of the "Meistersinger" just as easily as you or I would peruse one of the lighter novels of the day. This was one of his refuges. When his spirit was subjected to an extreme tension he relieved his soul by flying to the composers; to use his own very bad joke, when he was in need of composure he sought out the "composures." As time progressed, however, and the petty annoyances grew more numerous, the merely intellectual ...
— The Booming of Acre Hill - And Other Reminiscences of Urban and Suburban Life • John Kendrick Bangs

... So great was the tension on my nerves that I could scarcely restrain a shout of laughter. I turned it into a shout for Parks; but his face, when he appeared on the threshold, was too much for me, and I sank into a chair, ...
— The Mystery Of The Boule Cabinet - A Detective Story • Burton Egbert Stevenson

... the sense of infinity in the level landscape, of beauty in form and colour, of rest and peace in the grateful shadow of the little church on the cliff, but, above all, in the release from mental tension, and the ease of feeling after the strain of thought, she found the highest form of pleasure she had tasted, the most rarefied, the most intense. The St. Valentine's Day of her development was approaching, and her heart had begun already to practise the notes of the song-significant into ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... suspect or know—for she knew then nothing whatever of their personal relations. Nor was it from anything said; for an instant neither man spoke. Instinct must have made her conscious for as soon as Van Horn looked at Laramie she felt the tension: "Well, Jim, where'd you blow from?" demanded Van Horn ...
— Laramie Holds the Range • Frank H. Spearman

... overcome with fatigue, had long ago sunk to the ground, where, with their little ruffled heads resting on any bit of marble, they lay sleeping calmly like little children. Only the mother still watched and prayed for her child, the unnatural tension of whose nerves and muscles now seemed visibly to relax; for the mad light of exaltation in her eyes veiled itself in softness, her feet moved more and more slowly, and her arms, which had heretofore been in constant motion, dropped languidly to her side. ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 5 • Various

... look as if the Atlantis would win the battle. She was now fearfully close to the shore, but her bow had been turned into the very eye of the sea, and one could almost feel the tension of her steel muscles as she seemed to spring to the encounter. The billows that split themselves in quick succession on her sharp stem burst into shooting geysers three hundred ...
— The Second Deluge • Garrett P. Serviss

... wave of well-marked vital energy, which manifests itself in a monthly fluctuation of the tempera ture of the body, in the daily amount of the excretion of urea and of carbonic acid, and of the rate and tension of the pulse. The wave attains its maximum during the week preceding menstruation, and slowly falls to its minimum, which is ...
— The Four Epochs of Woman's Life • Anna M. Galbraith

... with her graciousness. She was worried herself; the doctor could see that in the way she looked from her husband to him, scenting something not on the surface. He was just beginning to fear the dinner was going to be miserable for them all, when Miss McCormick broke the tension by ...
— The Glory Of The Conquered • Susan Glaspell

... warp for fringe before the weaving is begun, and ten inches at the end of the rug to make a fringe for both first and second rugs. Sometimes the warp is set in groups of three, with a corresponding interval between, and this—if the tension is firm and the rags soft—gives a sort of honeycomb effect which is ...
— How to make rugs • Candace Wheeler

... outburst. Mr. Flexen had thought that Hutchings was worked up to a high degree of nervous tension, and he was. He cried out that he knew that every one believed that he had done it; but he hadn't. He'd never thought of it. He was damned if he didn't wish he had done it. He might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, anyhow. He broke off to curse Lord Loudwater at length. He had been a ...
— The Loudwater Mystery • Edgar Jepson

... Wyllis, I haven't been so happy since we were children and were going to discover the ruins of Troy together some day. Do you know, I believe I could just stay on here forever and let the world go on its own gait. It seems as though the tension and strain we used to talk of last winter were gone for good, as though one could never give one's strength out to ...
— A Collection of Stories, Reviews and Essays • Willa Cather

... face indicates an amazing determination and alertness. It is told of certain remarkable men—De Lesseps amongst the number—that they had the faculty of sleeping for several days and nights and then remaining wide awake and at full tension for an equally long period of time. We may confidently predict that John has this faculty. He is not likely to slumber again till his work is done, and done thoroughly. Michael's expression, I regret to note, is not quite so pleasing as John's. It gives "furiously to think," as our gallant and ...
— Raemaekers' Cartoons - With Accompanying Notes by Well-known English Writers • Louis Raemaekers

... when the stress of sorrow Strains to their utmost tension heart and brain; That he may teach us how despair may borrow From faith the ...
— Poems with Power to Strengthen the Soul • Various

... agreed, and henceforth the tension that had not unfrequently existed between Dampierre and his fellow-students ...
— A Girl of the Commune • George Alfred Henty

... function of relieving emotional tension by putting a strong hand on Lydia's shoulder and spinning her about. "Come! I want to see if it is you—and how ...
— The Squirrel-Cage • Dorothy Canfield

... activity. That which satisfies him may be absolutely empty, valueless, nugatory; no matter, its value lies in the satisfaction it gives him; and if it gives him satisfaction, it cannot be said to be a waste of time. But what he cannot endure, and what impresses him as a loss of time is a tension of the nerves, a moment of self-control, an interval of waiting without an immediate result There is, indeed, a popular Italian proverb: aspettare e non venire e una cosa da morire (to wait for what does not come is a killing business). These impatient persons are ...
— Spontaneous Activity in Education • Maria Montessori

... forget the first time I saw General Garfield. It was the morning after President Lincoln's assassination. The country was excited to its utmost tension.... The newspaper head lines of the transaction were set up in the largest type, and the high crime was on every one's tongue. Fear took possession of men's minds as to the fate of the Government, for in a few hours the news came on that ...
— From Canal Boy to President - Or The Boyhood and Manhood of James A. Garfield • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... did not speak, and gradually the tension went out of Stella. She relaxed at length and laid her cheek ...
— The Lamp in the Desert • Ethel M. Dell

... winding-sheet. He struggled as best he might against his linen bands, and cried out as angrily as he could for the linen that bound his mouth and his eyes, but he could not release himself. Eugene was strong and lithe, but Madelon was nearly as strong as he at any time; and now the great tension of her nerves seemed to inform all her muscles with the strength of ...
— Madelon - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... this, then all three laughed a little, more to lessen the tension which all of them felt than because they were amused, and presently the two women were alone again. Afterward, as they talked over all the incidents of the afternoon, they recalled that it was the only time during his long call that Gordon had laughed, ...
— The Fate of Felix Brand • Florence Finch Kelly

... still in their teens. They stood, leaning on tables and shifting on their feet; sometimes they smoked extraordinarily fast, and sometimes they let their cigars go out; some talked well, but the conversation of others was plainly the result of nervous tension, and was equally without wit or purport. As each new bottle of champagne was opened, there was a manifest improvement in gaiety. Only two were seated—one in a chair in the recess of the window, with his head hanging and ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 4 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... summit of elation, to which he had been raised by the success of the model, Watt was suddenly cast down into the valley of despair to find that only half of his heavy task was done, and the hill of difficulty still loomed before. Reaction took place, and the fine brain, so long strained to utmost tension, refused at intervals to work at high pressure. He became subject to recurring fits of despondency, aggravated, if not primarily caused by anxiety for his family, who could not be maintained unless he engaged ...
— James Watt • Andrew Carnegie

... thus brought up against me was one of the most remarkable things I ever saw, and nearly took me off my legs. Then when she had pulled against the riata until her narrow head and prettily arched neck were on a perfectly straight line with it, she as suddenly slackened the tension and condescended to follow me, at an angle of her own choosing. Sometimes it was on one side of me, sometimes on the other. Even then the sense of my dreadful contiguity apparently would come upon her like a fresh discovery, and she ...
— The Bell-Ringer of Angel's and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... satisfied with the promise thus made to herself, she smiled, her eyelids drooped, the tension of her frame was relaxed, and she sank again into the indolent attitude in which the Wanderer had found her. A moment later the distant door turned softly upon its hinges and a light footfall broke the stillness. There was no need for Unorna to ...
— The Witch of Prague • F. Marion Crawford

... point half-past twelve struck, and the bell rang for the end of morning school. The situation was saved, and the tension relaxed. ...
— A Prefect's Uncle • P. G. Wodehouse

... of a five or ten minute session, often emerged sweating, limp and frazzled. Yet for a swift hour, at high tension, Forrest met all comers, with a master's grip handling them and all the multifarious details of their various departments. He told Thompson, the machinist, in four flashing minutes, where the fault lay in ...
— The Little Lady of the Big House • Jack London

... lawyer scribbled away as though for his life, while the rest of us waited in a wretched hushed state of tension. In the room itself there was no sound save the scratching of the pen and the laboured breathing of the old man; but in the next house we could hear someone playing a waltz. Somehow it did not seem to me incongruous, ...
— Derrick Vaughan—Novelist • Edna Lyall

... and shame, whenever he remembered it, Eustace flung himself face downwards on the ground and fairly sobbed. What fear for his own safety and all the horrors he had gone through had no power to do, the relaxation of this tension of ...
— Queensland Cousins • Eleanor Luisa Haverfield

... out; he strove to speak again, but could not. The Tracer let him alone, and bent again over his desk, drawing imaginary circles on the stained blotter, while moment after moment passed under the tension of that fiercest of all struggles, when a man sits throttling his own ...
— The Tracer of Lost Persons • Robert W. Chambers

... in his labor, and while that enveloped him, the first advances of the lure would have gone by unnoticed—and the tension of the pressure. But the day was at hand when the Master was receptive. He had got his work completed; the formula, penciled out, were on his table. I knew by the relaxation. Of all periods this is the one most dangerous ...
— The Sleuth of St. James's Square • Melville Davisson Post

... the bateau men ashore was that of men who had come out from under a strain and were throwing off its tension for the first time in many days. A great fire was built, and the men sang and laughed and shouted as they piled wood upon it. In the flare of this fire a smaller one was built, and kettles and pans were soon bubbling and sizzling over it, and a great ...
— The Flaming Forest • James Oliver Curwood

... psychological mechanism of shame. ("Versuch einer Analyse der Scham," Archiv fuer die Gesamte Psychologie, Bd. II, Heft 2-3, 1903.) He regards shame as a general psycho-physical phenomenon, "a definite tension of the whole soul," with an emotion superadded. "The state of shame consists in a certain psychic lameness or inhibition," sometimes accompanied by physical phenomena of paralysis, such as sinking of the head and inability to meet the eye. It is a special case ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 1 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... In case of extreme tension in any part of the system, relaxation of the shrunken tissues can be brought about by gentle but persistent stretching of the nerves and adjacent muscles and ligaments, in a manner similar to that of the ...
— Nature Cure • Henry Lindlahr

... tension vanished—and we went happily back to harbour. I had no thought that the resolution to which he had come was ...
— Doctor Luke of the Labrador • Norman Duncan

... dark holds up unblemished. The only warning is the electric skin-tension (I feel as though I were a lace-maker's pillow) and an irritability which the gibbering of the General Communicator increases ...
— With The Night Mail - A Story of 2000 A.D. (Together with extracts from the - comtemporary magazine in which it appeared) • Rudyard Kipling

... smile stole over the pallid features; then, as they watched eagerly for some token of returning consciousness, the nervous system, so long strained to its utmost tension, suddenly relaxed and ...
— At the Time Appointed • A. Maynard Barbour

... never known the elder to be so long getting the bridle on the roan; the buggy was drawn up outside. An uneasy tension increased within him—a pressing necessity to see his father leading out their horse. He didn't come, and finally David was forced to walk over to ...
— The Happy End • Joseph Hergesheimer

... From them, says a critic, he learned "lightness of touch, brevity, conciseness, directness, the use of little traits as a means of giving insight into character, different ways of keeping the interest at the proper point of tension, and a thousand little devices for clearing the stage of superfluous figures or making needed ones appear at the crucial moment." Among his tricks of style, if we may call them so, are inversion and elision; by the one he puts the emphasis ...
— The German Classics Of The Nineteenth And Twentieth Centuries, Volume 12 • Various

... (to put it mildly) as uncomfortable as I had been before my short respite, yet strange to say, this was not the case. I did not know what was the matter with me, but suddenly I seemed to be enjoying myself. The tension of muscles relaxed, as if a string which had held them tight—like the limbs of a Jumping Jack—had been let go. I leaned back against the crimson cushions of my seat with a new and singular sense of well-being. Once, as ...
— The Princess Passes • Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson

... eyes here show signs of coming fight; so do her hands. Although they hang open and motionless at her sides, there is a certain tension about the fingers that in a quick, warm ...
— Molly Bawn • Margaret Wolfe Hamilton

... Calhoun, as grimly as before. "It might relax the tension a little. And do you want to tell me your story? You have ...
— This World Is Taboo • Murray Leinster



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