on tenterhooks

on tenterhooks
nervous because you do not know what is going to happen

We were all on tenterhooks waiting for her answer.

English dictionary. 2014.

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  • tenterhooks — (n.) late 15c., one of the hooks that holds cloth on a tenter, from TENTER (Cf. tenter) + HOOK (Cf. hook) (n.). The figurative phrase on tenterhooks in painful suspense is from 1748; earlier to be on tenters (1530s) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Tenterhooks (album) — Infobox Album | Name = Tenterhooks Type = Album Artist = Chris Mars Released = 1995 Recorded = ? Genre = Length = ? Label = Bar/None Producer = Chris Mars Reviews = Last album = 75% Less Fat (1993) This album = Tenterhooks (1995) Next album =… …   Wikipedia

  • tenterhooks — n. on tenterhooks ( in suspense ) * * * on tenterhooks ( in suspense ) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • tenterhooks — ten|ter|hooks [ˈtentəhuks US ər ] n especially BrE [Date: 1500 1600; Origin: tenterhook sharp nail for fastening cloth on a tenter (15 20 centuries), from tenter frame for drying and stretching cloth (13 20 centuries) (from Medieval Latin tentura …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • tenterhooks — [[t]te̱ntə(r)hʊks[/t]] PHRASE: v link PHR If you are on tenterhooks, you are very nervous and excited because you are wondering what is going to happen in a particular situation. He was still on tenterhooks waiting for his directors decision… …   English dictionary

  • tenterhooks — noun be on tenterhooks to feel nervous and excited because you are waiting for something: She had been on tenterhooks all night, expecting Joe to return at any moment …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • tenterhooks — ten|ter|hooks [ tentər,huks ] noun on tenterhooks nervous because you do not know what is going to happen …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • tenterhooks — [15] A tenterhook is one of a set of hooks used to hold cloth taut on a frame during manufacture, especially while its dries (tenter comes from medieval Latin tentorium, a derivative of Latin tendere ‘stretch’). The metaphorical use of on… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • tenterhooks — in a state of suspense or strain because of uncertainty They have been on tenterhooks all week while waiting for the decision about the Olympics …   Idioms and examples

  • tenterhooks — on tenterhooks …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • tenterhooks — UK [ˈtentə(r)ˌhʊks] / US [ˈtentərˌhʊks] noun on tenterhooks …   English dictionary

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