tent

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big tent

1. noun A group, movement, or philosophy that appeals or caters to, or encompasses, the broadest and most diverse amount of members possible. We pride our church on being something of a big tent, welcoming any and all who wish to join us. The party is trying to establish itself as a big tent, broadening its aims to appeal to the widest amount of voters possible.
2. adjective (often hyphenated) Appealing or catering to, or encompassing, the broadest and most diverse amount of members possible. In my opinion, their big-tent politics, while reaching more people, dilute the potency of their goals.
See also: big, tent

a camel's nose (under the tent)

A small, seemingly innocuous act or decision that will lead to much larger, more serious, and less desirable consequences down the line. The term refers to an alleged Arab proverb that if a camel is allowed to get its nose inside of a tent, it will be impossible to prevent the rest of it from entering. Some regard legalizing same-sex marriage as a camel's nose under the tent, eventually leading to the destruction of marriage altogether. Not hiring an exterminator at the first sign of termites has proved to be a camel's nose, as much of our woodwork is now destroyed.
See also: nose

fold (up) (one's) tent

To quit, withdraw, or disengage (from something), especially quietly or discreetly. After allegations of embezzlement, the CEO decided to fold his tent and take an early retirement. You're going to have a lot of setbacks in life, so don't just fold up your tent and go home at the first sign of failure.
See also: fold, tent

Were you born in a tent?

Have you no basic manners? (Usually said after someone has left open a door to the outside.) Shut the door, it's freezing outside! Were you born in a tent?
See also: born

pitch a tent

to erect a tent at a campsite. The campers pitched their tent in a clearing in the woods. I pitched my tent next to a large oak tree.
See also: pitch, tent

fold one's tent

Quietly depart, as in It's late, so let's fold our tents. This term is a partial quotation of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "The Day is Done" (1844): "And the night shall be filled with music, And the cares that infest the day, Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, And quietly steal away."
See also: fold, tent

tent out

v.
1. To sleep outdoors in a tent: We tented out in Acadia National Park.
2. To be extended outwards by a prop so as to create a cavity underneath. Used of a layer or sheet of material: The wallpaper is tenting out because of a loose nail.
3. To push out some layer or sheet of material so as to create a cavity underneath: A loose spring in the cushion is tenting the fabric out. We used ski poles to tent out the sides of the tarp.
See also: out, tent

make a mountain

and pitch a tent
n. to have a morning erection that raises the covers; to have an erection that makes a bulge in one’s clothing; to get an erection. Bobby makes a mountain almost every morning. When I was in the hospital, I was afraid I would pitch a tent in the morning.
See also: make, mountain

pitch a tent

verb
See also: pitch, tent
References in classic literature ?
The better to examine the stone the prince stepped to the open doorway of the tent.
When she was sure The Sheik had gone, the little girl crawled to the shady side of the tent, where she lay quite still, hugging Geeka close to her breast, her little form racked at long intervals with choking sobs.
They both set off to the other end of the camp, but as it did not cover more than a surface of five hundred feet they quickly arrived at the tent they were looking for.
Therewith the god went back into the thick of the fight, and Idomeneus when he had reached his tent donned his armour, grasped his two spears, and sallied forth.
I readily believe you," said Monk, with an imperceptible smile, "but I cannot, nevertheless, keep you in my tent.
Hunt gave up the attempt to penetrate in this direction, and, returning to the little stream on the skirts of the mountain, pitched his tents within six miles of his encampment of the preceding night.
The men wint back into the tents like jackals, an' the rest av the night there was no noise at all excipt the stip av the sinthry over the two, an' Scrub Greene blubberin' like a child.
The plain dotted itself with tents that seemed to rise, all spread, from the carts.
asked twenty tents; and through twenty tents ran the answer - "Wick, 'e's down.
I went off, without waiting for serving men, and unsaddled my horse, and washed such portions of his ribs and his spine as projected through his hide, and when I came back, behold five stately circus tents were up--tents that were brilliant, within, with blue, and gold, and crimson, and all manner of splendid adornment
the handkerchiefs became tiny tents, and as the travelers looked at them the tents grew bigger and bigger until in a few minutes each one was large enough to contain the entire party.
By the dim light of the new moon, however, Glinda's forces silently surrounded the city and pitched their tents of scarlet silk upon the greensward.
Close by was an Arab douar of some eight or ten tents.
Surrounding it were the tents and shelters of his white companions and the natives of his safari.
About noon they came to a DOUAR of about twenty tents.