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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.
Origin of tensor
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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Quickly tensor moved up parallel to it, while he speculated on what it meant.

    Fair and Warmer E. G. von Wald
  • "I'm not so sure about that endocrine shift, sir," tensor stated emotionlessly.

    Fair and Warmer E. G. von Wald
  • He was in authority over tensor, and therefore far inferior in native gifts.

    Fair and Warmer E. G. von Wald
  • Again she smiled dazzlingly and with devastating effect on tensor.

    Fair and Warmer E. G. von Wald
  • The next step is tenotomy of the tensor tympani muscle (see p. 345).

  • tensor nodded in polite agreement and continued with his own story.

    Fair and Warmer E. G. von Wald
  • tensor asked without difficulty, using sound patterns similar to what they had employed.

    Fair and Warmer E. G. von Wald
  • It looked uneasily at tensor, and remained perfectly, cautiously still.

    Fair and Warmer E. G. von Wald
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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