tenterhook
noun Date: 15th century a sharp hooked nail used especially for fastening cloth on a tenter

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • tenterhook — ► NOUN (in phrase on tenterhooks) ▪ in a state of agitated suspense. ORIGIN originally denoting a hook used to fasten cloth on a tenter (from Latin tendere to stretch ), a framework on which fabric was held taut during manufacture …   English terms dictionary

  • tenterhook — [ten′tər hook΄] n. any of the hooked nails that hold cloth stretched on a tenter on tenterhooks in suspense; filled with anxiety …   English World dictionary

  • 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

  • tenterhook — /ten teuhr hook /, n. 1. one of the hooks or bent nails that hold cloth stretched on a tenter. 2. on tenterhooks, in a state of uneasy suspense or painful anxiety: The movie keeps one on tenterhooks until the very last moment. [1470 80; TENTER +… …   Universalium

  • tenterhook — noun one of a series of hooks used to stretch cloth on a tenter …   Wiktionary

  • tenterhook — n. hook used to hold cloth onto a frame …   English contemporary dictionary

  • tenterhook — noun historical a hook used to fasten cloth on a tenter. Phrases on tenterhooks in a state of agitated suspense …   English new terms dictionary

  • tenterhook — n 1. bent nail, hook, hanger. 2. on tenterhooks apprehensive, uneasy, anxious, qualmish, worried, alarmed, concerned; nervous, Sl. uptight, queasy, jittery, skittish, jumpy; on edge, edgy, on a cliff edge, on a tightrope, waiting for the ax to… …   A Note on the Style of the synonym finder

  • tenterhook — ten•ter•hook [[t]ˈtɛn tərˌhʊk[/t]] n. tex one of the hooks or bent nails that hold cloth stretched on a tenter • on tenterhooks Etymology: 1470–80 …   From formal English to slang

  • tenterhook — /ˈtɛntəhʊk/ (say tentuhhook) noun 1. one of the hooks or bent nails which hold cloth stretched on a tenter. –phrase 2. on tenterhooks, in a state of painful suspense or anxiety …   Australian English dictionary

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