tense Meaning, Definition & Usage
noun a grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time
verb become stretched or tense or taut
- the bodybuilder's neck muscles tensed
- "the rope strained when the weight was attached
verb increase the tension on
- alternately relax and tense your calf muscle
- tense the rope manually before tensing the spring
verb become tense, nervous, or uneasy
- He tensed up when he saw his opponent enter the room
verb cause to be tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious
strain; tense up.
- he got a phone call from his lawyer that tensed him up
adjective in or of a state of physical or nervous tension
adjective pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles (e.g., the vowel sound in `beat')
adjective taut or rigid; stretched tight
- tense piano strings
(Gram.) One of the forms which a verb takes by inflection or by adding auxiliary words, so as to indicate the time of the action or event signified; the modification which verbs undergo for the indication of time. ✍ The primary simple tenses are three: those which express time past, present, and future; but these admit of modifications, which differ in different languages.
Stretched tightly; strained to stiffness; rigid; not lax; as, a. tensefiber
The temples were sunk, her forehead was tense, and a fatal paleness was upon her. Goldsmith.--
Tense"ly, adv. -- Tense"ness, n.
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