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[ten-ser, -sawr] /ˈtɛn sər, -sɔr/
Anatomy. a muscle that stretches or tightens some part of the body.
Mathematics. a mathematical entity with components that change in a particular way in a transformation from one coordinate system to another.
1695-1705; < New Latin: stretcher, equivalent to Latin tend(ere) to stretch (see tend1) + -tor -tor, with dt > s
Related forms
[ten-sawr-ee-uh l, -sohr-] /tɛnˈsɔr i əl, -ˈsoʊr-/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tensor
  • In order to step into this direction the energy density component of stress-energy tensor must increase.
  • It is the tensor strength that needs to progress with the progression of matter.
  • So one might seek another expression, maybe a fractal tensor will be a better choice.
  • Energy density is a component of the energy-momentum-stress tensor.
  • Port and others are also experimenting with diffusion tensor imaging.
  • Similarly, it's not a vector in higher dimensions, it becomes a higher-rank tensor.
  • It took a long time to get through the tensor algebra and tensor calculus.
  • The physical variables of the disk's energy-momentum tensor are calculated.
British Dictionary definitions for tensor


/ˈtɛnsə; -sɔː/
(anatomy) any muscle that can cause a part to become firm or tense
(maths) a set of components, functions of the coordinates of any point in space, that transform linearly between coordinate systems. For three-dimensional space there are 3r components, where r is the rank. A tensor of zero rank is a scalar, of rank one, a vector
Derived Forms
tensorial (tɛnˈsɔːrɪəl) adjective
Word Origin
C18: from New Latin, literally: a stretcher
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tensor

muscle that stretches a part, 1704, Modern Latin agent noun of Latin tendere "to stretch" (see tenet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tensor in Medicine

tensor ten·sor (těn'sər, -sôr')
A muscle that stretches or tightens a body part.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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tensor in Science
  (těn'sər, -sôr')   
  1. A structure of quantities arranged by zero or more indices, such as a scalar (zero indices), a vector (one index), or a matrix (two indices), which is invariant under transformations of coordinates.

  2. Any of various muscles that stretch or tighten a body part, as the muscle that acts to tense the soft palate, called the tensor palati.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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