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tenterhook

[ten-ter-hoo k] /ˈtɛn tərˌhʊk/
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
1470-1480
1470-80; tenter + hook
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for tenterhook

tenterhook

/ˈtɛntəˌhʊk/
noun
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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