To be on the tenter-hooks
Tenter Ten"ter, n. [OE. tenture, tentoure, OF. tenture a stretching, spreading, F. tenture hangings, tapestry, from L. tendere, tentum, to stretch. See {Tend} to move.] A machine or frame for stretching cloth by means of hooks, called tenter-hooks, so that it may dry even and square. [1913 Webster]

{Tenter ground}, a place where tenters are erected.

{Tenter-hook}, a sharp, hooked nail used for fastening cloth on a tenter.

{To be on the tenters}, {To be on the tenter-hooks} or {To be on tenterhooks}, to be on the stretch; to be in distress, uneasiness, or suspense. --Hudibras. [1913 Webster +PJC]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To be on the tenters — Tenter Ten ter, n. [OE. tenture, tentoure, OF. tenture a stretching, spreading, F. tenture hangings, tapestry, from L. tendere, tentum, to stretch. See {Tend} to move.] A machine or frame for stretching cloth by means of hooks, called tenter… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To be on tenterhooks — Tenter Ten ter, n. [OE. tenture, tentoure, OF. tenture a stretching, spreading, F. tenture hangings, tapestry, from L. tendere, tentum, to stretch. See {Tend} to move.] A machine or frame for stretching cloth by means of hooks, called tenter… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tenter — Ten ter, n. [OE. tenture, tentoure, OF. tenture a stretching, spreading, F. tenture hangings, tapestry, from L. tendere, tentum, to stretch. See {Tend} to move.] A machine or frame for stretching cloth by means of hooks, called tenter hooks, so… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tenter ground — Tenter Ten ter, n. [OE. tenture, tentoure, OF. tenture a stretching, spreading, F. tenture hangings, tapestry, from L. tendere, tentum, to stretch. See {Tend} to move.] A machine or frame for stretching cloth by means of hooks, called tenter… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tenter-hook — Tenter Ten ter, n. [OE. tenture, tentoure, OF. tenture a stretching, spreading, F. tenture hangings, tapestry, from L. tendere, tentum, to stretch. See {Tend} to move.] A machine or frame for stretching cloth by means of hooks, called tenter… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • textile — /teks tuyl, til/, n. 1. any cloth or goods produced by weaving, knitting, or felting. 2. a material, as a fiber or yarn, used in or suitable for weaving: Glass can be used as a textile. adj. 3. woven or capable of being woven: textile fabrics. 4 …   Universalium

  • Tenterhook — For the album by musician Chris Mars, see Tenterhooks (album) .Tenterhooks were used as far back as the fourteenth century in the process of making woollen cloth. After the cloth had been woven it still contained oil from the fleece and some dirt …   Wikipedia

  • Ballincollig Royal Gunpowder Mills — was one of three Royal gunpowder mills that manufactured gunpowder for the British Government. The Ballincollig gunpowder mills were opened in the late 18th Century; and were bought by the Board of Ordnance in 1804. They are situated in the town… …   Wikipedia

  • tenterhooks — (n.) late 15c., one of the hooks that holds cloth on a tenter, from TENTER (Cf. tenter) + HOOK (Cf. hook) (n.). The figurative phrase on tenterhooks in painful suspense is from 1748; earlier to be on tenters (1530s) …   Etymology dictionary

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