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Meaning & Definition of Tense in English

English

Tense

/tɛns/

noun

1. A grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time

    synonym:
  • tense

verb

1. Become stretched or tense or taut

  • "The bodybuilder's neck muscles tensed
  • " "the rope strained when the weight was attached"
    synonym:
  • strain
  • ,
  • tense

2. Increase the tension on

  • "Alternately relax and tense your calf muscle"
  • "Tense the rope manually before tensing the spring"
    synonym:
  • tense

3. Become tense, nervous, or uneasy

  • "He tensed up when he saw his opponent enter the room"
    synonym:
  • tense
  • ,
  • tense up

4. Cause to be tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious

  • "He got a phone call from his lawyer that tensed him up"
    synonym:
  • tense
  • ,
  • strain
  • ,
  • tense up

adjective

1. In or of a state of physical or nervous tension

    synonym:
  • tense

2. Pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles (e.g., the vowel sound in `beat')

    synonym:
  • tense

3. Taut or rigid

  • Stretched tight
  • "Tense piano strings"
    synonym:
  • tense