Definitions for: Tense


[n] a grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time
[adj] taut or rigid; stretched tight; "tense piano strings"
[adj] (phonetics) pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles (e.g., the vowel sound in `beat')
[adj] in or of a state of physical or nervous tension
[v] make tense
[v] become tense or tenser; "He tensed up when he saw his opponent enter the room"
[v] increase the tension on; "tense a rope"
[v] stretch or force to the limit; "strain the rope"



Webster (1913) Definition: Tense, n. [OF. tens, properly, time, F. temps time,
tense. See Temporal of time, and cf. Thing.] (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.

Note: The primary simple tenses are three: those which
express time past, present, and future; but these admit
of modifications, which differ in different languages.


Tense, a. [L. tensus, p. p. of tendere to stretch. See
Tend to move, and cf. Toise.]
Stretched tightly; strained to stiffness; rigid; not lax; as,
a tense fiber.

The temples were sunk, her forehead was tense, and a
fatal paleness was upon her. --Goldsmith.
-- Tense"ly, adv. -- Tense"ness, n.

Synonyms: aroused, cliff-hanging, constricted, drawn, edgy, electric, highly strung, high-strung, in suspense(p), isotonic, jittery, jumpy, nail-biting, nervous, nervy, overstrung, pumped up(p), pumped(p), pumped-up(a), restive, strain, strain, strained, suspenseful, suspensive, taut, tense up, tight, unrelaxed, uptight, wired, wound up

Antonyms: at ease, decompress, lax, loosen up, make relaxed, relax, relaxed, slow down, unbend, unlax, unstrain, unwind

See Also: affect, agitated, alter, aorist, change, change state, continuous tense, crick, extend, future, future tense, grammatical category, imperfect, imperfect tense, past, past tense, perfect, perfect tense, perfective, perfective tense, present, present tense, progressive, progressive tense, stretch, syntactic category, tense, tighten, turn, uneasy

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