Word of the Day

Saturday, April 09, 2011

tenterhooks

\TEN-ter-hooks\ , noun;
1.
On tenterhooks, in a state of uneasy suspense or painful anxiety.
2.
One of the hooks or bent nails that hold cloth stretched on a tenter.
Quotes:
"I wait on tenterhooks to see if my ploy of last night will yield the desired outcome."
-- Stephanie Laurens, The Elusive Bride
"Such as the fact that this Sevarin has been dangling after Miss Stone in earnest, and the village seems to be hanging on tenterhooks in expectation of a betrothel announcement."
-- Judith McNaught, Whitney, My Love
Origin:
Tenterhooks usually occurs in the idiomatic phrase "on tenterhooks," from the type of hook that that hold cloth stretched on a tenter.
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