tenterhook

(redirected from Tenterhooks)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

keep someone on tenterhooks

Fig. to keep someone in suspense. Don't keep me on tenterhooks! Tell me your news! We were all kept on tenterhooks waiting to find out what happened.
See also: keep, on, tenterhook

on tenterhooks

anxiously waiting for news about someone or something She was on tenterhooks until her son called and said he was not hurt.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of tenterhook (a hook that holds cloth that is stretched to dry), suggesting that someone's emotions are tightly stretched like a piece of cloth held by tenterhooks
See also: on, tenterhook

on tenterhooks

nervously waiting to find out what is going to happen She waited on tenterhooks for James to call. We were kept on tenterhooks all morning waiting for his decision.
See also: on, tenterhook

on tenterhooks

In a state of painful suspense, as in We were on tenterhooks all through the game, hoping against hope that our team would win . This expression alludes to hooks that formerly were used to hold newly woven cloth that was being stretched on a frame. Their name has long survived this method of manufacture. [Mid-1700s]
See also: on, tenterhook

on tenterhooks

In a state of uneasiness, suspense, or anxiety.
See also: on, tenterhook
References in periodicals archive ?
Four pre-election allies, including AIADMK and the Janata Party, kept the BJP on tenterhooks for the second day by not giving their letters of support.
When new products go on the market, everyone is on tenterhooks -- everyone wants to see what's happening in real-time," said Brian Staff, vice president of marketing at Informix Software.
Sitcom One Big Happy has six weeks to find an audience when it launches next month and Kel's on tenterhooks, admitting she's keen to stay in Los Angeles.
Hull are still awaiting a definitive answer from Old Trafford chiefs and Bruce is on tenterhooks.
Pulis said: "Michael is so nervous about it being a long-term injury, he's on tenterhooks a bit.
POBOL Y CWM Everyone is on tenterhooks, so when Cadno discovers the identity of the thief, she hits the roof.
A JEWELLERY firm is waiting on tenterhooks to see whether its rare Welsh gold will be used by Prince William and his fiance Kate Middleton for their wedding rings.
STOCK markets, political leaders and millions around the world were on tenterhooks today as the lower house of the US Congress tried again to pass a pounds 397bn rescue package for the nation's economy.
Nevertheless, the weekend events have raised the significance of tomorrow's meeting, which will leave the market on tenterhooks.
Planning to put everyone on creepy tenterhooks is Wrexham tour guide Phil Phillips who believes the art of storytelling is dying out.
IT'S finally here; the heavyweight clash that has had the racing world on tenterhooks, writes Pietro Innocenzi.
I was a nephew's "friend" on Who Wants to be a Millionaire and spent 24hours on tenterhooks wondering if I was up to it.
Thousands of music fans are on tenterhooks to find out if newly-reformed Led Zeppelin will live up to the legendary live performances of their past - including Mick Jagger.
Everyone is walking around on tenterhooks - as if the tension wasn't high enough already without all this.
Ruddock was left on tenterhooks as his skipper Thomas (above) played in Toulouse's match against Beziers, and goal-kicker Stephen Jones turned out for Clermont-Auvergne, but both men ended their matches injury-free.