Part of speech: adjective
Origin: Latin, early 17th century
Relating to tension.
Capable of being drawn out or stretched.
Examples of Tensile in a sentence
"The flooding increased the tensile forces and caused the cracks in the foundation."
"The tensile quality of steel allowed for the construction of high-rises."
Popularity Over Time
In Latin, the verb "tendere" means to stretch. It evolved into an adjective, "tensilis," in medieval Latin. We use tensile as an adjective in English mainly in technical contexts. It can be tension related to physics, or describing a material capable of being stretched.
Did you Know?
A tensile structure is an architectural construction using only tension and no compression or bending. Recognizeable tensile structures include The O2 in London, the Denver International Airport, Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, and Killesburg Tower in Stuttgart.