Tinsel vs. Tensile

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Tinsel is shiny strips of foil, separate or attached on a string or wire used for decoration, especially at Christmas time. Tinsel is also used to express the idea of gaudiness. Tinsel may be used as a noun, adjective or transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are tinsels, tinseled, tinseling as used in the United States, tinsels, tinselled, tinselling as used in British English, and tinselly, used universally. Tinsel is a mid-fifteenth-century word meaning a kind of cloth made with interwoven gold or silver thread, derived from the Middle French word estincelle which means spark, spangle.

Tensile means capable of being stretched or drawn out, the word tensile is related to the word tension. Other related words are tensility, tensileness, tensilely. Tensile is a word from the early 1600s, from the Latin tensus, meaning to stretch.


From stocking stuffers to tinsel and ribbons, the holidays are full of things that have the potential to harm dogs and and cats. (The Palm Beach Post)

After two years of growing sales from 2011, sales of festive products such as baubles, tinsel and artificial Christmas trees dropped almost a third last year. (The Guardian)

Much as I like the Petersen’s shiny ribbons that flow like wind tunnel smoke trails over a car model gone berserk, they do bring to mind Oscar Levant’s quip, “Strip away the phony tinsel of Hollywood, and you will find the real tinsel underneath.” (LA Times)

Bedford’s spidery prose, full of gaps but also tensile strength, never over-explains. (The Wall Street Journal)

In line with Hyundai’s commitment to produce the safest cars on the market, the Creta’s body shell has been developed using advanced engineering techniques and high quality materials including ultra-high tensile steel for more body rigidity and structural strength. (The Kuwait Times)

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