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noun
Tension  n.  
1.
The act of stretching or straining; the state of being stretched or strained to stiffness; the state of being bent strained; as, the tension of the muscles, tension of the larynx.
2.
Fig.: Extreme strain of mind or excitement of feeling; intense effort.
3.
The degree of stretching to which a wire, cord, piece of timber, or the like, is strained by drawing it in the direction of its length; strain.
4.
(Mech.) The force by which a part is pulled when forming part of any system in equilibrium or in motion; as, the tension of a srting supporting a weight equals that weight.
5.
A device for checking the delivery of the thread in a sewing machine, so as to give the stitch the required degree of tightness.
6.
(Physics) Expansive force; the force with which the particles of a body, as a gas, tend to recede from each other and occupy a larger space; elastic force; elasticity; as, the tension of vapor; the tension of air.
7.
(Elec.) The quality in consequence of which an electric charge tends to discharge itself, as into the air by a spark, or to pass from a body of greater to one of less electrical potential. It varies as the quantity of electricity upon a given area.
Tension brace, or Tension member (Engin.), a brace or member designed to resist tension, or subjected to tension, in a structure.
Tension rod (Engin.), an iron rod used as a tension member to strengthen timber or metal framework, roofs, or the like.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Tension" Quotes from Famous Books



... told that it is all done, she says: "God be praised! But haven't you hurried it too much? Haven't you spoiled anything?" "Oh, I don't think so," he replied; "when I have a work that demands a particular tension of the mind, I am in a state of extraordinary nervous excitement; images are clearer, my senses are more alert, and for the form, why, the style is plastic, and steadily becomes better in proportion as the tension becomes stronger." She sighed, and added: ...
— Essays on Russian Novelists • William Lyon Phelps

... and proportion befitting in a musical interpretation; if the sentiment were one that failed, whether from lack of appreciation or of sympathy on his part, to command absolute approval; or if the terms employed were not of a precise thread and tension,—if they were wanting, however minutely, in vibratory qualities,—of commensurate extent would be ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 121, November, 1867 • Various

... know what it is to be stared at, you should interrupt, as I had, a conversation between two young men of about this age in Fulham or elsewhere. They stared in unison and in silence until the tension became unbearable, and one of them, the elder, whose name was Bill, relieved it with the above quest on, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, April 5, 1916 • Various

... enjoyment, the notion of ordinary possession is a mere delusion. It can be got only by a constant obtrusion of a mere idea, the idea of self, and of such unsatisfactory ideas as one's right, for instance, to exclude others. 'Tis like the tension of a muscle, this constant keeping the consciousness aware by repeating "Mine—mine—mine and not theirs; not theirs, but mine." And this wearisome act of self-assertion leaves little power for appreciation, for the appreciation ...
— Laurus Nobilis - Chapters on Art and Life • Vernon Lee

... At this moment the tension was relieved by the Young Turk falling off his chair with a crash on to the floor. Everyone jumped up startled. Raisuli took advantage of the confusion to pocket ...
— The Swoop! or How Clarence Saved England - A Tale of the Great Invasion • P. G. Wodehouse

... strong, not to have been extremely relaxed by such an intemperate use of it[922]. He assured me, that he never felt the least inconvenience from it; which is a proof that the fault of his constitution was rather a too great tension of fibres, than the contrary. Mr. Hanway wrote an angry answer to Johnson's review of his Essay on Tea, and Johnson, after a full and deliberate pause, made a reply to it; the only instance, I believe, in the whole ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell

... shoulders for the flagstone covers. The track, which had previously been blocked up on the rock between the ditches, was raised and supported on the ditch boxes above the finished floor level. At the same time, light forms were braced from the ditch boxes to the grade of the base of the low-tension and telephone-duct bank. After depositing the concrete to this level, the telephone ducts ...
— Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. LXVIII, Sept. 1910 • James H. Brace and Francis Mason

... 1773-1775 were for Goethe a time of high emotional tension, from which he sought relief in rapid, desultory, and multifarious writing. Exquisite songs, musical comedies of a sentimental tinge, humorous and satiric skits in dramatic form, prose tragedy of passionate ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... tension increased with each new day. I shot ptarmigan and kept our table supplied with brook-trout. William chopped wood, conversed with his mules, and cooked ...
— In Search of the Unknown • Robert W. Chambers

... The tension was quickly relieved however by the surprised flush which mantled on Mr. Locket's brow. He fell back a few steps with an injured dignity that might have been a protest against physical violence. "Really, my dear young sir, your attitude is tantamount to an accusation of intended bad faith. Do ...
— Sir Dominick Ferrand • Henry James

... his arms wholly around her. She permits it but with an expression which shows that she forces herself to mere endurance. She has grown quite silent and seems, with quivering tension of soul, to be awaiting some certainty, some ...
— The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann - Volume I • Gerhart Hauptmann

... asked any privileges had been a favorite of hers, but she was a timid, conventional soul. Visions of her roomers departing in a flock when they found out about the man in the second floor back began to haunt her dreams. Perhaps he might rob them all at night. In a moment of nerve tension, summoning all her courage, she asked the killer from the cattle country if he would ...
— Gunsight Pass - How Oil Came to the Cattle Country and Brought a New West • William MacLeod Raine

... a lyric (using the word henceforward in its particular sense) is generally short is but to say that poetic tension can only be sustained for a short time. Poe's saying that a long poem is a sequence of short ones is perfectly just. What happens, I think, is this. The poetic mood, selecting a subject, records its ...
— The Lyric - An Essay • John Drinkwater

... characteristics of that singular and highly rhetorical age. He lives in tradition as the man of the constant smile, and yet there is no one in history whose state papers contain passages of fiercer violence in days of tension. How much of his violence was genuine, how much was a manner of speaking, his biographers have not had the courage to determine. Like so many American biographers they have avoided the awkward questions and have glanced over, as lightly as possible, ...
— The Day of the Confederacy - A Chronicle of the Embattled South, Volume 30 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Nathaniel W. Stephenson

... he wants to come to me," Miss Theodosia said, extending welcoming hands. Very gently she relieved the tension of ...
— Miss Theodosia's Heartstrings • Annie Hamilton Donnell

... strung to their utmost tension, and resolved to put down that mob though the streets ran blood, he gave his whole soul to the work before him. He infused his determined, fearless spirit into every one who approached him. Anonymous letters, telling him he had not another day to live, he flung ...
— The Great Riots of New York 1712 to 1873 • J.T. Headley

... days Mr. Jackson Wylie, Sr., had hard work to hold himself in, and he was at a high state of nervous tension when, on the morning of the fourteenth day of May, he strolled into the Waldorf-Astoria and inquired at the ...
— Laughing Bill Hyde and Other Stories • Rex Beach

... the night she had announced Luke Claridge's death to Eglington, had discovered Soolsby with him, had seen the look in her husband's face and caught the tension of the moment on which she had broken, she had been haunted by a hovering sense of trouble. What had Soolsby been doing in the laboratory at that time of night? What was the cause of this secret meeting? All Hamley knew—she ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... mimic waves, I go back, in fancy, to the long ride of October over that boundless plain, and recall the sharp outlines of the distant hills, which are now lost in the lowering clouds. The men are rowing silently, and I find my mind, released from its tension, growing benumbed and depressed as then. The water, too, is getting more shallow as we leave the banks of the creek, and with my hand dipped listlessly over the thwarts, I detect the tops of chimisal, which shows the tide to have somewhat fallen. There ...
— Selected Stories • Bret Harte

... to such a tension here that I doubt the wisdom of my discussing international politics with you; nevertheless, I want you not to be weary in well-doing, but continue to give me the views of the Tory Squire. I hope that your admiration for Balfour will prove justified. Of course, ...
— The Letters of Franklin K. Lane • Franklin K. Lane

... she wrote that letter to Godolphin which I have transcribed, this painful tension of the nerves was more than hitherto acute. She longed to fly somewhere; nay, once or twice, she remembered that Rome was easily gained, that she might be there as expeditiously as her letter. Although in that letter only we have signified that Lucilla ...
— Godolphin, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... looked at Carmencita, then turned sharply and went over toward the window. A choking, stifling sensation made breathing difficult, and, the tension of the past few hours relaxed, he felt as one on the edge of a precipice from which at any moment he might topple over. It was too cold to open the window, but he must have air. Going to the couch, he took up his hat and coat, then ...
— How It Happened • Kate Langley Bosher

... tatters. I felt like screaming and it seemed that if this continued I would smash an officer with a chair and put an end to it all. But the fact that I am writing these lines shows that I didn't. Human nature is so constituted that it can always endure a little more, and though they kept the tension high for many minutes I did not buckle under the strain. However, I couldn't call up any arguments to show the utter absurdity of the charge against me. And my defense ...
— In the Claws of the German Eagle • Albert Rhys Williams

... unaccompanied by 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 taking me ...
— The Reflections of Ambrosine - A Novel • Elinor Glyn

... more than I can say, a great sense of relief, a lessening of the tension, the unconscious strain I had been under, at this swift, jovial conversation with another human ...
— The Fire People • Ray Cummings

... Quaker. "The man is quiet from inanition and nervous tension. This trial means more to him than we guess. Get ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 74, December, 1863 • Various

... later, Dave was cursing as he stared at a pile of useless items. He'd gotten transistors at first. Then he lost control with too much tension or fatigue and began getting a bunch of assorted junk, such as old 201-A tubes, a transit, a crystal vase and resistors. But the chief trouble was that he couldn't secure working batteries. He had managed a ...
— The Sky Is Falling • Lester del Rey

... of Pound's verse is rather a state of tension due to constant opposition between free and strict. There are not, as a matter of fact, two kinds of verse, the strict and the free; there is only a mastery which comes of being so well trained that form is an instinct and can be adapted to the ...
— Ezra Pound: His Metric and Poetry • T.S. Eliot

... for quackery, my dear Miss Olive!" This broke from Basil's lips in spite of a vow he had just taken not to say anything that should "aggravate" his hostess, who was in a state of tension it was not difficult to detect. But he had lowered his tone to friendly pleading, and the offensive word ...
— The Bostonians, Vol. I (of II) • Henry James

... on the Mormons, with the restive bit-champing of the horses, with Jane failing to repress her mounting agitations, with Venters standing pale and still, the tension of the moment tightened. Tull broke the spell with a laugh, a laugh without mirth, a laugh that was only ...
— Riders of the Purple Sage • Zane Grey

... of deep suffering, concentrated will, and a strange, sombre, formidable character. The sweet, exquisite, icy, infernal joy with which, as Pescara, he told his rival that there should be "music" was almost comical in its effect of terror: it drove the listener across the line of tragical tension and made him hysterical with the grimness of a deadly humour. His swift defiance to Lord Lovell, as Sir Giles, and indeed the whole mighty and terrible action with which he carried that scene—from "What, are you pale?" down ...
— Shadows of the Stage • William Winter

... Finland to the Yellow Sea, everything is shaken. The spirit of the age has gone forth to hold his great review, and the kings of the earth are moved to meet him at his coming. The band which holds the great powers of Europe together in one political league, is strained to its utmost tension. The catastrophe may for a while be staved off; but to all appearance they are hurrying to the verge of one of those conflicts which, like those of Pharsalia and Actium, affect the condition of States for twice ten centuries. The Turkish empire, encamped but ...
— The American Union Speaker • John D. Philbrick

... are deeply interested in your experiments in colonising those parts of our Empire which are at present sparsely populated, and thus relieving the tension of social problems in the larger cities of Great Britain, and that congestion of population which is a fruitful source of individual and of ...
— The Authoritative Life of General William Booth • George Scott Railton

... five minutes' frenzy—time to snatch his phrase and scribble his immortal stanza; but for days together, while the slow labour of the brush went on, while the foul vapours of life interposed, and the fancy ached with tension, fixed, radiant, distinct, as we see it now! What a master, certainly! ...
— The Madonna of the Future • Henry James

... the horses understood and sympathized with the mental tension of their riders they sprang forward with renewed energy; and some hard riding brought the two men within hailing distance ...
— Afterwards • Kathlyn Rhodes

... 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 ...
— Sex in Education - or, A Fair Chance for Girls • Edward H. Clarke

... entire effort of the navy upon our own coasts and inland waters, the policy of the government reverted, irreflectively perhaps, to the identical system of distribution in squadrons that had existed before. The prolonged tension of mind and effort during four years of overwrought activity was followed by a period of reaction, to which, as far as the administration of the navy was concerned, the term collapse would scarcely be misapplied. Of course, for a few years the evil effects ...
— From Sail to Steam, Recollections of Naval Life • Captain A. T. Mahan

... sleep visited Willard's eyes that night, with the ghost of possible defeat haunting his wakeful senses, stretched to their utmost tension of anxiety. ...
— Sword and Pen - Ventures and Adventures of Willard Glazier • John Algernon Owens

... in the heavens when at length they reached the foot of the steep rise, and Wyllard gasped heavily as they crept up the ascent. He was making a severe muscular effort; but it was the nervous tension that troubled him most, for he knew that he would look down upon the inlet from the summit. He blamed himself bitterly for not sending on a messenger to Dampier when he fell in with Overweg, which, in his eagerness to follow up the clue the latter had given him, he had at first omitted to ...
— Hawtrey's Deputy • Harold Bindloss

... biting his nails with an air of deep thought. For some moments, such was the tension of his mind, large drops of sweat stood on his yellow brow. He walked up and down, stopped, stamped with his foot, now raised his eyes as if in search of an inspiration, and now scratched his head violently with his left hand, whilst he continued to gnaw the ...
— The Wandering Jew, Complete • Eugene Sue

... the village clock strike nine, with loud, deep notes that seemed almost at hand. Every nerve of his body seemed strung to electric tension, and all nature tuned to a higher pitch as if dark and terrible things ...
— The Galaxy, Volume 23, No. 2, February, 1877 • Various

... conducted to a spacious, cool room, luxurious to his eyes; yet he felt no weariness, but somehow supernaturally strained up to an awful tension. ...
— Bart Ridgeley - A Story of Northern Ohio • A. G. Riddle

... and directly beneath my eyes, lay a clenched fist of fearful dimensions, that in color and protuberances bore a good deal of resemblance to a freshly unearthed Jerusalem artichoke. Its sinews seemed to be cracking with tension, and the whole knob was so expressive of intense pugnacity that my eyes involuntarily sought its owner's face. I had unconsciously taken my seat directly opposite a man whose stature was nearly double that of the compact, bustling sputtering, and ...
— The Monikins • J. Fenimore Cooper

... could have cried as a child cries, with the snapping of the tension, when he answered: "It was only that terrible last scene, darling. I've seen you die in other parts. But it never affected me like this. Perhaps it's because you didn't belong to me in those days. Or is it that you were more realistic in your ...
— The Powers and Maxine • Charles Norris Williamson

... reservedness of temper," a contempt for "the false estimates of the vulgar," a proud withdrawal from the meaner and coarser life around him. Great as was his love for Shakspere, we can hardly fancy him delighting in Falstaff. In minds of a less cultured order, this moral tension ended, no doubt, in a hard unsocial sternness of life. The ordinary Puritan "loved all that were godly, much misliking the wicked and profane." His bond to other men was not the sense of a common manhood, but the recognition of a brotherhood among ...
— History of the English People, Volume V (of 8) - Puritan England, 1603-1660 • John Richard Green

... a general principle of Parthian warfare to abstain from campaigning during the winter. So much depended upon the tension of their bow-strings, which any dampness relaxed, that their rule was to make all their expeditions in the dry time of their year, which lasted from early in the spring until late in the autumn. The rule was, however, transgressed upon ...
— The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 6. (of 7): Parthia • George Rawlinson

... slight incredulity his expression changed to an alert interest and he demanded to see, first the patients and then the pests now immured in a deep freeze. Sometime in the middle of this, Dane, overcome by fatigue which was partly relief from tension, sought his cabin and the bunk from which he wearily disposed Sinbad, only to have the purring cat crawl back once more when he ...
— Plague Ship • Andre Norton

... variety, opened to him. The days are illuminated pages, crowded with pictures, the forms and hues of which he can never forget. After I returned to the zone of darkness, and recovered from the stress and tension of three weeks of daylight, I first fully appreciated the splendours of the arctic sun. My eyes were still dazzled with the pomp of colour, and the thousand miles of coast, as I reviewed them in memory, with their chaos of island-pyramids of ...
— Northern Travel - Summer and Winter Pictures of Sweden, Denmark and Lapland • Bayard Taylor

... that time the tension was almost unbearable. My nerves were going, and there was no reason for it. I kept telling myself that. In the mirror I looked white and anxious, and I had a sense of approaching trouble. I caught Maggie watching me, too, and ...
— The Confession • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... the philanthropist, the philosopher, the saint. Often they are due to some strain of egoism or ambition which has intermixed itself with the impersonal desire; sometimes, as in Wordsworth's case, to the persistent tension of a mind which has been bent too ardently towards an ideal scarce possible to man. And in this case, when the objects of a man's habitual admiration are true and noble, they will ever be found to suggest some antidote to the fatigues of their pursuit. We shall see as ...
— Wordsworth • F. W. H. Myers

... Mr. Trent. Love you? Come one step nearer and I shall hate you. Oh!" she said, recoiling, as a gleam from the lamp revealed to her the wild expression in his eyes, the tension of his white lips and nostrils, the strange transformation in those usually impassive features which revealed the brutal nature below the polished surface of the ...
— Brooke's Daughter - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... reformers, persistent believers in the Apocalypse, from Joachim of Flora down to the Protestant sectary of our days. This impotent effort to establish a perfect society has been the source of the extraordinary tension which has always made the true Christian an athlete struggling against the existing order of things. The idea of the "kingdom of God," and the Apocalypse, which is the complete image of it, are thus, in a sense, the highest and most poetic expressions of human ...
— The Life of Jesus • Ernest Renan

... affairs of human tension there must come a breaking point. It came one night as the two ...
— The Clicking of Cuthbert • P. G. Wodehouse

... was not a little pleased when she took her place quite close to the Baroness, who gave her a friendly nod. It may be readily imagined that all that I now said was intended not only for my fair neighbour, but also mainly for the Baroness. Whether it was that the inward tension of my feelings imparted an especial animation to all I said, at any rate my companion's attention became more riveted with every succeeding moment; in fact, she was at last entirely absorbed in the visions of the kaleidoscopic world which I unfolded to her gaze. ...
— Weird Tales. Vol. I • E. T. A. Hoffmann

... resist both tension and compression and is an excellent joint for all purposes. The joint is brought together by using folding wedges as ...
— Woodwork Joints - How they are Set Out, How Made and Where Used. • William Fairham

... and attached by straps to the horse's collar. All the tension came through the shafts, and these were strengthened by ropes that extended to the ends of the forward axle. Harnesses had a shabby, 'fixed up' appearance, with a good deal of rope in their composition. Why they did not go to pieces or crumble to ...
— Overland through Asia; Pictures of Siberian, Chinese, and Tartar - Life • Thomas Wallace Knox

... gathering, and Kennedy did not attempt to relieve the tension even by small talk as he wrapped the forearms of each of us with cloths steeped in a solution of salt. Upon these cloths he placed little plates of German silver to which were attached wires which led back of a screen. At last he was ...
— The Dream Doctor • Arthur B. Reeve

... time and space and the service of railways got hold upon her. "Come to me," "Come to me," sounded in Joan's ears in the live voice she had loved and lost and found again. An hour's delay, a minute's, a moment's seemed a crime. Yet delay there must be, but the tension and terrific excitement of her whole being at this period demanded some immediate outlet in action. She wanted to talk to Uncle Chirgwin, and she desired instant information upon the subject of her journey. First she thought of seeking the farmer in the valley; then it struck ...
— Lying Prophets • Eden Phillpotts

... full year. She wants it to end. It is a terrible oppression. Her army must remain mobilized, even if it does not fight. Her trade stagnates. She is incumbered by refugees. What if she struck to end the war and get the tension over? Not now, perhaps, but presently. Simultaneously with the Franco-British counter-stroke that ...
— Current History, A Monthly Magazine - The European War, March 1915 • New York Times

... rich and clear-cut plasticity, as something more than a feaster upon colour and form. In his riot of the senses there was more of the athlete than of the voluptuary. His joy was that of one to whom nervous and muscular tension was itself a stimulating delight. In such a temperament the feeling of energy was an elementary instinct, a passionate obsession, which projected itself through eye and ear and imagination into the outer world, filling it with ...
— Robert Browning • C. H. Herford

... given it shape are still writing, and their work is therefore incomplete. But on the slightest review of it two facts become manifest: first, that New England has lost its long monopoly; and, secondly, that a marked feature of the period is the growth of realistic fiction. The electric tension of the atmosphere for thirty years preceding the civil war, the storm and stress of great public contests, and the intellectual stir produced by transcendentalism seem to have been more favorable to poetry and literary idealism than present ...
— Brief History of English and American Literature • Henry A. Beers

... other projectiles soared over his head to lose themselves in the woods with the explosions of a volcano, he remained by his son's side, with no other sign of tension than a slight trembling of the knees. It seemed to him now that it was only the French missiles—because they were on his side—that were hitting the bull's eye. The others must be going up in the air and losing themselves in useless noise. Of just such illusions is valor often ...
— The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... before it became evident that in some way word had been passed that we were not mere sightseers. Perhaps it was by a sort of wireless electric tension that seemed to pervade the air. At any ...
— Guy Garrick • Arthur B. Reeve

... say?" each girl asked herself. The tension was at its height, the silence could almost be felt, when Dr. Prescott began ...
— Nan Sherwood at Palm Beach - Or Strange Adventures Among The Orange Groves • Annie Roe Carr

... on the lights, Ernest's beautiful plane seemed to sparkle with preparedness. He went over it bolt by bolt, nuts, screws, wires, and wings passing under his careful and critical eye. He looked at and tested the tension of the wires, the swing of the rudder, the looseness of the ailerons. Satisfied at last that everything was perfectly in tune, he turned and gave a critical glance ...
— Battling the Clouds - or, For a Comrade's Honor • Captain Frank Cobb

... had not spoken of to anyone else—this actress supreme, who for all her life had pretended to approve of the alien Jivro's sabotage of her own racial stock—was a heart-rending picture, and her own face told me with its extreme tension that what she said was a fact. But perhaps this alien from space could act that well? I preferred to ...
— Valley of the Croen • Lee Tarbell

... strips of copper with two terminals. This internal shell is capable of serving for currents of quantity, and, when the two terminals are united by a wire, it may serve as a deadener. Above this copper shell there are two identical coils of wire which may, according to circumstances, be coupled in tension or in series, or be employed differentially. Reading is performed either by the aid of a needle moving over a dial, or by means of a mirror, which is not shown in the figure. Finally, there is a lateral scale, R, which carries a magnetized bar, A, that may be slid ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 421, January 26, 1884 • Various

... had been comparable. It had been the theory of many superficially-judging persons, he knew, that he was wasting that life in a surrender to sensations, but he had tasted of no pleasure so fine as his actual tension, had been introduced to no sport that demanded at once the patience and the nerve of this stalking of a creature more subtle, yet at bay perhaps more formidable, than any beast of the forest. The terms, the comparisons, ...
— The Jolly Corner • Henry James

... correspond to the reed of the organ-pipe; the vibration of the cords, producing sound, which is communicated to the air enclosed in the cavities of the chest and head. Pitch of tone is determined by the rapidity of vibrations of the bands, according to acoustical law, and the length, size, and tension of the cords will determine the number of vibrations per ...
— The Child-Voice in Singing • Francis E. Howard

... heart something new had been born, faint fire, latent, unstirred; and her delicate lips rested one on the other in the sensitive curve of suspense; and her white fingers, often now interlinked, seemed tremulously instinct with the exquisite tension hushing body and soul in breathless accord as they waited ...
— The Younger Set • Robert W. Chambers

... at her steadfastly, the match burning in his fingers. Then he threw it away and lit another. The interval had been full of unadmitted tension, which suddenly passed. ...
— The Kingdom of the Blind • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... just as far as was necessary for his eyes, under tension, to see the speaker; then got down, more deliberately than courteously, on his own side of the stile. "Come along, missus," he said. "Never mind legs. Yours ain't my ...
— When Ghost Meets Ghost • William Frend De Morgan

... treaties gave rise, as you are aware, to certain objections. Several Governments considered that they would lead to the establishment of groups of Powers animated by hostility towards other Powers or groups of Powers and that they would cause political tension. The absence of the barriers of compulsory arbitration and judicial intervention was evident ...
— The Geneva Protocol • David Hunter Miller

... movement as of tension relaxed though none had been apparent in his bearing. He struck Bunny on the shoulder ...
— Charles Rex • Ethel M. Dell

... was very kind of Mr. Churchill. The tension of the conversation was relaxed. The Duc asked if I had ...
— The Inheritors • Joseph Conrad

... the Continent, where the entire machinery of trade comes to a standstill from eleven to one o’clock, that déjeuner may be taken in somnolent tranquillity, the nervous tension pervading a restaurant here is prodigious, and what is worse—catching! During recent visits to the business centres of our city, I find that the idea of eating is repugnant. It seems to be wrong to waste time on anything so unproductive. Last week a friend offered me ...
— The Ways of Men • Eliot Gregory

... so near, irritability pricked Vaniman's state of nervous tension. He began to resent Wagg's contemptuous silence in regard to details. That the guard's plans were concerned in some way with the mined hillock was evident enough. But an explosion which merely would create a diversion to assist in an escape was not a device that would effectively ...
— When Egypt Went Broke • Holman Day

... As soon as the forth-going Word of God is differentiated into many concrete expressions and the fundamental Unity of the Abyss is broken up into particular desires and wills, there is bound to be a clash of opposites—will and contra-will, strain and tension, light and joy and beauty, and over against them pain and sorrow and evil. Evil must appear as soon as there is {178} process of separation, differentiation, variety, specialization and particularity.[20] Darkness ...
— Spiritual Reformers in the 16th & 17th Centuries • Rufus M. Jones

... to sit down 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 pleasure of ...
— The Booming of Acre Hill - And Other Reminiscences of Urban and Suburban Life • John Kendrick Bangs

... smile passed across the faces of all present, for all knew Faith's allusion, and it relieved the tension of the past half-hour. From the first moment David began to speak he had commanded his hearers. His voice was low and even; but it had also a power which, when put to sudden quiet use, compelled the hearer to an almost ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... hour, except for their unceasing howls and yells, during which time we made an attempt at getting some dinner. That meal, however, was not completed when we saw them stealing down on us again. Again they came more than a hundred strong, with heads held back, and arms at fullest tension to give their spears the greatest projective force, when, just as they came within spear shot, for we knew the exact distance now, we gave them another volley, striking the sand up just before ...
— Australia Twice Traversed, The Romance of Exploration • Ernest Giles

... Honored Sirs," said Powers. "Suppose that in your early history of creating your orderly realm you had discovered on one of your islands a race of Falsethsa as advanced and regulated as yourselves who wished nothing to do with you?" He could feel the alerted tension of the four as the golden eyes glowed ...
— Join Our Gang? • Sterling E. Lanier

... soul: and the soul's rest is pleasure, as stated above (I-II, Q. 25, A. 2; I-II, Q. 31, A. 1, ad 2). Consequently, the remedy for weariness of soul must needs consist in the application of some pleasure, by slackening the tension of the reason's study. Thus in the Conferences of the Fathers (xxiv, 21), it is related of Blessed John the Evangelist, that when some people were scandalized on finding him playing together with his disciples, he is said to have told one of them who carried a bow to shoot an arrow. And when ...
— Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) • Thomas Aquinas

... so elapsed, then, before Isobel returned; and, although she came into the room confidently enough, the old tension reasserted itself immediately. I felt that commonplaces would choke me. And although to this day I cannot condone my behavior, for the good of my soul I must confess ...
— The Green Eyes of Bast • Sax Rohmer

... struggle against Plato, or—to speak plainer, and for the "people"—the struggle against the ecclesiastical oppression of millenniums of Christianity (FOR CHRISTIANITY IS PLATONISM FOR THE "PEOPLE"), produced in Europe a magnificent tension of soul, such as had not existed anywhere previously; with such a tensely strained bow one can now aim at the furthest goals. As a matter of fact, the European feels this tension as a state of distress, and twice attempts have been made in grand style to unbend ...
— Beyond Good and Evil • Friedrich Nietzsche

... of crossing and drawing together the several parts of a tackle, or other complication of ropes, which had already been strained to a great extent; in this sense it exactly resembles the operation of bracing up a drum. The frapping increases tension, and consequently adds to the security acquired by the purchase; hence the cat-harpings were no other than frappings to ...
— The Sailor's Word-Book • William Henry Smyth

... into the nave, each taking a seat, installing him or herself in a corner, pending the commencement of the ceremony. Marie had at once fallen on her knees between Madame de Jonquiere and Raymonde, whose eyes were moist with tender emotion; whilst Father Massias, exhausted by the extraordinary tension of the nerves which had been sustaining him ever since his departure from the Grotto, had sunk upon the ground, sobbing, with his head between his hands. Behind him Pierre and Berthaud remained standing, ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... the hammers; and he ascertained by experiment that such was the case when different weights were hung by strings of the same size. The next discovery was that two strings of the same substance and tension, the one being double the length of the other, gave the diapason-interval, or an eighth; and the same was effected from two strings of similar length and size, the one having four times the tension of the other. Belonging to the same cycle of invention-anecdotes are Galileo's ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 10 • Richard F. Burton

... mind and body I one night retired to my cabin after a day of petty worries, in which everything and everybody seemed to have been at cross-purposes with me, and—utterly worn out with the prolonged tension upon my nerves—ultimately subsided into a fitful, restless, nightmare kind of slumber, during which I continued in my dreams the researches upon which my thoughts had now been for nearly three weeks concentrated. Over and over again did I seem to arrange ...
— The Cruise of the "Esmeralda" • Harry Collingwood

... recognition of English suzerainty in Zanzibar and the possession of Uganda, which had recently been taken for Germany by Dr. Peters. At that time Germans thought very little of Heligoland, but there was then no Anglo-German tension, and no apprehension of an English descent ...
— William of Germany • Stanley Shaw

... charged with tension; a hush fell upon the room, the joyous light of battle in every eye, if nothing else, attesting the approach of the foe; while all present, after listening contemptuously to a series of wild and unearthly yells which announced an immediate ...
— The Girl of the Golden West • David Belasco

... duchies of Baden and Hesse, their purpose being to arrange for and define the conditions of union between the South and the North German states. For weeks, this momentous question filled all Germany with excitement and public opinion was in a state of high tension. The scheme of union was by no means universally approved, there being a large party in opposition, but the majority in its favor in Chambers proved sufficient to enable Bismarck to carry out his ...
— A History of The Nations and Empires Involved and a Study - of the Events Culminating in The Great Conflict • Logan Marshall

... smile, a joke, or merely an impassive face." The inherent paradox of trying to inculcate pride, dignity, and aggressiveness in a black soldier while inflicting on him the segregationist's concept of the Negro's (p. 020) place in society created in him an insupportable tension. Second, segregation wasted black manpower, a valuable military asset. It was impossible, Hastie charged, to employ skilled Negroes at maximum efficiency within the traditionally narrow limitations of black units. Third, to insist on an inflexible separation of white and black soldiers ...
— Integration of the Armed Forces, 1940-1965 • Morris J. MacGregor Jr.

... been; and as I have experienced a state in which rising from bed was not disagreeable, but easy, nay, sometimes agreeable; I suppose that this state may be produced, if we knew by what. We can heat the body, we can cool it; we can give it tension or relaxation; and surely it is possible to bring it into a state in which rising from bed will ...
— The Life Of Johnson, Volume 3 of 6 • Boswell

... those, you could yet, in leading the life of high pressure, guess a little how they sometimes felt. It was truly the life of high pressure that Strether had seemed to feel himself lead while he sat there, close to Chad, during the long tension of the act. He was in presence of a fact that occupied his whole mind, that occupied for the half-hour his senses themselves all together; but he couldn't without inconvenience show anything—which moreover might count really as luck. What he might have shown, had he shown at all, was ...
— The Ambassadors • Henry James

... very tension of the night-silence that warned him to be on the watch. It was not until long after midnight that he relaxed his straining, uneasy vigil, and stretched himself to unvexed sleep. He could steal an hour ...
— The Flockmaster of Poison Creek • George W. Ogden

... The tension of the times forbade perception of the ludicrous. For three months the "Riffraffs"—so they proudly called themselves—rheumatic, deaf, palsied, halt, lame, and one or two nearly blind, had represented "the cause," "the standing army," "le ...
— Solomon Crow's Christmas Pockets and Other Tales • Ruth McEnery Stuart

... the magnets, M and M', there is a permanent magnet, A, movable around a vertical axis, i. Four spiral springs, f, whose tension may be regulated, permit of centering this latter piece in such a way that when the current is traversing the spirals of the polar bobbins it is equally distant from the four poles, n, s, s', and n'. Under such circumstances ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 508, September 26, 1885 • Various

... Maupassant one breathes heavily as if it were oneself and not another upon whom the tension and the sweat of the crisis has come. One touches with one's naked hand every object he describes. One feels the gasping breath of every person he brings forward. His images slap one's cheeks till they tingle, and his situations wrestle with one to ...
— Suspended Judgments - Essays on Books and Sensations • John Cowper Powys

... phrases began repeating themselves in my head as they will under a strain: so I know at sea a man perilously hanging on to the tiller makes a kind of litany of his instructions. The central part was passed, the three-quarters; the tension of that enduring effort had grown intolerable, and I doubted my ability to complete the task. Why? What could prevent me? I cannot say; it was all a bundle of imaginaries. Perhaps at bottom what I feared was ...
— The Path to Rome • Hilaire Belloc

... between the partly open curtains, closed them quietly and went back, ostentatiously solemn, to his seat. The very crackle with which he opened his paper added to the bursting curiosity of the car. For the passengers knew that something was amiss: I was conscious of a sudden tension. ...
— The Man in Lower Ten • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... thus a certain amount of tension existing between the military and naval services of the Yugoslavs and those of Italy. Other Yugoslavs were apprehensive as to whether the Italians would not demand the enforcement of the Treaty of London. ...
— The Birth of Yugoslavia, Volume 2 • Henry Baerlein

... course as the crowd hung breathless on the even race; ten thousand shouts rang as thrice ten thousand eyes watched the closing contest, as superb a sight as the Shires ever saw, while the two ran together, the gigantic chestnut, with every massive sinew swelled and strained to tension, side by side with the marvellous grace, the shining flanks, and the Arabian-like head ...
— Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida - Selected from the Works of Ouida • Ouida

... glance flashed from the ferocious eye of the Yankee. It was but momentary. Quitting his firm grasp of the knife, he suffered his limbs to relax their tension, and aiming at carelessness, observed, with a smile, that was tenfold more hideous ...
— The Canadian Brothers - or The Prophecy Fulfilled • John Richardson

... firmly as a pivot, it contrives to turn round and round, and so to strain the fibres of the fruit-stalk until they snap; it then patiently backs down the stem. Sometimes two ants combine their efforts; one, at the base of the peduncle, gnaws at the point of greatest tension, while the other hauls upon it and twists it. And sometimes the ants drop the capsules to their companions below, corresponding with the curious account given by AElian of the way the spikelets of corn are thrown down ...
— The Industries of Animals • Frederic Houssay

... self-exhortations. Nobody knew anything about all this. The ceremony went on, just as such ceremonies go on every day in the year. The priest said the words and paused while they were repeated; by one voice firmly and strongly, by the other low and unassured, yet clear. And then there was the flutter of tension relieved, the gathering round of the little crowd, the little procession to the vestry, where everything was signed, the kissings and good wishes. Dick had no mother, but his elder sister was there, who kissed him in her place, and his younger sister, ...
— A Country Gentleman and his Family • Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

... weary years it had burned brightly; but constant disappointment was pressing heavily on her heart and crushing out the holy spark. The heartstrings will bear rude shocks and sudden rough handling, but the gradual tightening, the unremitted tension of long, tediously rolling years, will in time accomplish what fierce assaults cannot. Continually she prayed for his return; but, despite her efforts, her faith grew fainter as each month crept by and her smile ...
— Beulah • Augusta J. Evans

... if a sound should be made! Oh, what if a bound should be laid To this bow-and-string tension of beauty and silence a-spring,— To the bend of beauty the bow, or the hold of silence the string! I fear me, I fear me yon dome of diaphanous gleam Will break as a bubble o'erblown in a dream,— Yon dome of too-tenuous tissues ...
— Poets of the South • F.V.N. Painter

... a drunken manner, with an insane tendency to use its tail as a support. This creature was kept in existence by having its food forcibly crammed down its throat, the amount given each meal being gauged not by appetite but by the tension of its stomach. Last, and least, there was one which had succeeded in bursting out one end of its native egg that morning. Its already tremendous toes protruded, and were engaged in further efforts to get out when we arrived. While ...
— Six Months at the Cape • R.M. Ballantyne

... men told their people in Bontoc what part they and the insurrectos played in the fight against the Americans, the tension between the Igorot and insurrectos was at its greatest. The insurrectos were evidently worse than the Spaniards. They did all the things the Spaniards had done, and more — they robbed through falsehood. Consequently, ...
— The Bontoc Igorot • Albert Ernest Jenks

... from one thing to another, straightening them out and bringing order from confusion, and though she held herself well in hand, the tension was growing tighter, and there was danger of her losing control ...
— Patty's Summer Days • Carolyn Wells

... the value of the coming, crowning invention. The "fire engines," as they were then called, of these now famous men were merely contrivances by the use of which the pressure of confined steam of high tension could be brought to act on the surface of a mass of confined water, forcing it downward into pipes through which it was led off and upward to a higher level; and thus a mine could be drained, ineffectively and ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 803, May 23, 1891 • Various

... 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, mental, emotional, ...
— The 2003 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency

... were, I know. It is impossible to describe such a half-hour's life to you; it has to be lived through to be understood. The clamour and excitement, and the feeling of how much hangs on the word of a child who does not properly understand what she is accepting or refusing. The tension ...
— Things as They Are - Mission Work in Southern India • Amy Wilson-Carmichael

... He would have liked to sit down to a good breakfast, but he saw that his cousin was laboring under a heavy nervous tension. Cheerfully he gave up his breakfast for ...
— A Daughter of the Dons - A Story of New Mexico Today • William MacLeod Raine

... titles and epithets in the mystic hymns and litanies, which the artists endeavored to represent by various forms and characters of men and animals. The great characteristic attribute was represented by the organ of generation in that state of tension and rigidity which is necessary to the due performance of its functions. Many small images of this kind have been found among the ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii, attached to bracelets, which the ...
— Religion and Lust - or, The Psychical Correlation of Religious Emotion and Sexual Desire • James Weir

... the table was now broken up. The men pulled their chairs into informal groups, and sat together puffing at cigarettes, sipping tea, and talking, in a desultory fashion, while the underlying tension increased, and more than one man wondered a little at the weakness of his knees and the slight unsteadiness of the hand upholding glass or match. Vladimir de Windt, Ivan's acknowledged chum, was doubly concerned and doubly restless. ...
— The Genius • Margaret Horton Potter

... considerable tension for all at the Quarter Circle KT. Night came and Parker and the cowboys had not returned. Nor did they come on Sunday. Evidently the beef round-up had gone ...
— The Ramblin' Kid • Earl Wayland Bowman

... of acidosis—anything below this is not remarkable. More exact methods of determining the amount of acidosis are the determination of the ratio between the total urinary nitrogen and the ammonia, the quantitation of the acetone, diacetic acid and oxy-butyric acid excreted, and the carbon dioxide tension of the alveolar air. These are rather complicated for average ...
— The Starvation Treatment of Diabetes • Lewis Webb Hill

... 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 for a second, gave ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... corners of his eyes, that hovered between me and his wife, who stood with the wool in her hand, beaming mildly up in my face. I half turned on my heel and set a restless gaze on the corner of the room. For many considerations were in his simple words. That he should say them at all relieved the tension of my wonder; that he should say them in the way he did, was, in a manner, a manifestation that he guessed the real state of ray feelings to the lady whose very name I had not dared to mention to him, and that he was ready to favour any ...
— John Splendid - The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn • Neil Munro

... Newhaven had written so continually those letters which he had burned unread. That was why she had made that desperate attempt to see him in the smoking-room at Wilderleigh after the boating accident. She wanted to know which had drawn the short lighter. That explained the mysterious tension which Hugh had noticed in Rachel during the last days in London before—before the time was up. He saw it all now. And, of course, they naturally supposed that Lord Newhaven had committed suicide. They could not think otherwise. They were waiting for one of ...
— Red Pottage • Mary Cholmondeley

... out into the open day. So she rushed about from one gay place to another, and hid herself in the biggest crowds she could find; and all the while went to his 'penny readings' (in imagination), and counted the days that were yet left before the end of September. But the tension began to tell upon her, and her face took a delicate look that Mr. Falkirk did not like to see, in spite of the ready colour that flickered there in such fitful fashion. And then, Dr. Arthur Maryland, watching her one night at the Ocean House, with his critical eyes, gave his ...
— The Gold of Chickaree • Susan Warner

... however, an eagerness for occupation and amusement, and a shade of impatience when any one opposed her, spoke of inward irritability. Now and then, too, there was a sharpness in her voice that betrayed nervous tension; but none dared to express sympathy by look or word. Once when she announced her intention of joining Bessie and Richard in their ride, and her mother asked her if she were not too tired, she turned ...
— Our Bessie • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... hand, and the men out in the dim light. Dale lifted the girl into his arms, and, turning without a word, stalked away to disappear in the darkness. Las Vegas, holding his gun low, returned to the bar-room. If there had been any change in the crowd it was slight. The tension had relaxed. Turner no longer ...
— The Man of the Forest • Zane Grey

... time nor labor, but exert himself beyond his natural energies, seeking to enter into the character of each actor, studying them one after the other, limb for limb, hand for hand, finger for finger, noting each inflection of joint, or tension of sinew, searching for dramatic truth internally in himself, and in all external nature, shunning affectation and exaggeration, and striving after pathos, and purity of feeling, with patient endeavor and ...
— The Germ - Thoughts towards Nature in Poetry, Literature and Art • Various

... the strain of anxiety was universal and heart-rending. So much depended upon swelling the figures. The tension would have been relieved if our faces were all set towards extinction, and the speedy evacuation of this unsatisfactory globe. The writer met recently, in the Colorado desert of Arizona, a forlorn ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... thinking done while we read determines the rate of utterance; the purpose or motive of the thought and its completeness or incompleteness are indicated by an upward or downward slide of the voice; the nervous tension expresses itself in a certain key; the physical and mental energy, in a certain power or volume of the voice; and the character of the emotion is reflected in the quality. These principles of vocal expression are known technically as ...
— The Ontario High School Reader • A.E. Marty

... this is the state of mind of the person suffering from stage-fright. He is obsessed with ideas of failure and all the efforts of his will are powerless to overcome them. Indeed, it is the state of effort and tension which ...
— The Practice of Autosuggestion • C. Harry Brooks

... counteract its evil tendencies, there is to-day in existence another school or system known as the limp or relaxed school, or the system of complete relaxation. The object of this relaxation is to overcome muscular tension and rigidity. This is the other extreme. The followers of this school forget that there can be no tonicity without tension. Flexible firmness without rigidity, the result of flexible, vitalized position ...
— The Renaissance of the Vocal Art • Edmund Myer



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