tenterhook

tenterhook

[ten-ter-hook]
noun
1.
one of the hooks or bent nails that hold cloth stretched on a tenter.
Idioms
2.
on tenterhooks, in a state of uneasy suspense or painful anxiety: The movie keeps one on tenterhooks until the very last moment.

Origin:
1470–80; tenter + hook

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World English Dictionary
tenterhook (ˈtɛntəˌhʊk)
 
n
1.  one of a series of hooks or bent nails used to hold cloth stretched on a tenter
2.  on tenterhooks in a state of tension or suspense

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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