Share this entry

Share this page

tenterhook

Syllabification: ten·ter·hook
Pronunciation: /ˈten(t)ərˌho͝ok
 
/

Definition of tenterhook in English:

noun

historical
A hook used to fasten cloth on a drying frame or tenter.
Example sentences
  • Their first guess was they were tenterhooks, sometimes known as tenter posts - devices used to stretch cloth while it was being dyed.

Phrases

on tenterhooks

1
In a state of suspense or agitation because of uncertainty about a future event.
Example sentences
  • Hospital bosses in south Essex were today on tenterhooks as the future of controversial foundation trusts went back into the melting pot.
  • Anyhoo, I feel like the grandparents were just waiting on tenterhooks to find out the sex so they can finally go out and shop for the baby.
  • Everyone is just waiting on tenterhooks for the ward phone to ring.
Synonyms
in suspense, waiting with bated breath;
anxious, nervous, apprehensive, worried, worried sick, on edge, edgy, antsy, tense, strained, stressed, agitated, restless, worked up, keyed up, jumpy, with one's stomach in knots, with one's heart in one's mouth
informal with butterflies in one's stomach, jittery, twitchy, in a state, uptight, het up

Words that rhyme with tenterhook

wet lookoutlook

Definition of tenterhook in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day resilient
Pronunciation: rəˈzilyənt
adjective
able to recoil or spring back into shape…