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Noun: tense  ten(t)s
  1. A grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time
Verb: tense  ten(t)s
  1. Become stretched, tense or taut
    "the bodybuilder's neck muscles tensed";
    - strain
     
  2. Increase the tension on
    "alternately relax and tense your calf muscle"; "tense the rope manually before tensing the spring"
     
  3. Become tense, nervous, or uneasy
    "He tensed up when he saw his opponent enter the room";
    - tense up
     
  4. Cause to be tense and uneasy, nervous or anxious
    "he got a phone call from his lawyer that tensed him up";
    - strain, tense up
Adjective: tense (tenser,tensest)  ten(t)s
  1. In or of a state of physical or nervous tension
     
  2. (phonetics) pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles (e.g., the vowel sound in 'beat')
     
  3. Taut or rigid; stretched tight
    "tense piano strings"

Sounds like: tenors, te, tense

Derived forms: tenser, tensest, tensing, tenses, tensed

See also: agitated, antsy [N. Amer], aroused, cliff-hanging, constricted, edgy, electric, fidgety, fretful, highly strung, high-strung, isotonic, itchy, jittery, jumpy, nail-biting, nervous, nervy, overstrung, pumped, pumped up, pumped-up, restive, squirrelly [N. Amer], strained, suspenseful, suspensive, taut, tight, twitchy, uneasy, unrelaxed, uptight, wired, wound up

Type of: affect, alter, change, change state, grammatical category, modify, syntactic category, tighten, turn

Antonym: lax, relax, relaxed

Encyclopedia: Tense, aspect and mood