surface tension

noun, Physics.
1.
the elasticlike force existing in the surface of a body, especially a liquid, tending to minimize the area of the surface, caused by asymmetries in the intermolecular forces between surface molecules.
Origin of surface tension
1875-1880
1875-80
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for surface tension
Contemporary Examples
• The fact that her show is called “surface tension” makes clear that she understands and intends this reference.

October 29, 2013
Historical Examples
• This reduction of the surface tension you can see if I use the same wire frame a third time.

C. V. Boys
• Soap solution admirably fulfils Plateau's second condition, its surface tension being only about 40 per cent.

W. H. Simmons
• Its presence breaks down the surface tension, as we had supposed.

Raymond F. Jones
• His feet rested on nothing—and yet there was some sort of tension under him—like the surface tension of water.

Graph Waldeyer
• These motor units are supported on the surface of the water by an intensifying of the surface tension in their immediate area.

Harry Harrison
• On the moon, the surface tension of the ink was exactly the same as on earth, but the gravity was five-sixths less.

William Fitzgerald Jenkins
• Further, the pressure inside such a thread due to a surface tension equal to that of water would be 60 atmospheres.

• Special effects of this force are classified as (a) capillary action, and (b) surface tension.

Willis Eugene Tower
• What would cause the surface tension to break down like that?

Raymond F. Jones
British Dictionary definitions for surface tension

surface tension

noun
1.
a property of liquids caused by intermolecular forces near the surface leading to the apparent presence of a surface film and to capillarity, etc
2.
a measure of this property expressed as the force acting normal to one side of a line of unit length on the surface: measured in newtons per metre T, γ, σ
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
surface tension in Medicine

surface tension n.

1. A property of liquids arising from unbalanced molecular cohesive forces at or near the surface, as a result of which the surface tends to contract and exhibit properties resembling those of a stretched elastic membrane.

2. A measure of this property.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Cite This Source
surface tension in Science
 surface tension   (sûr'fəs)    A property of liquids such that their surfaces behave like a thin, elastic film. Surface tension is an effect of intermolecular attraction, in which molecules at or near the surface undergo a net attraction to the rest of the fluid, while molecules not near the surface are attracted to other molecules equally in all directions and undergo no net attraction. Because of surface tension, the surface of a liquid can support light objects (such as water beetles on the surface of a pond). Surface tension is responsible for the spherical shape of drops of liquid; spheres minimize the surface area of the drop and thus minimize surface tension. See also capillary action, meniscus.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Cite This Source
surface tension in Culture

surface tension definition

The force exerted along the surface of a fluid that causes it to “bead up” and form into drops. Water has high surface tension and beads up easily; alcohol has low surface tension and does not often show droplets.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Cite This Source

Difficulty index for surface tension

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for surface

12
14
Scrabble Words With Friends