1. [ noun ] (grammar) a grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time
Related terms: grammatical_category future past perfective progressive aorist present
2. [ verb ] increase the tension on

"tense a rope"

Related terms: change tension
3. [ adjective ] in or of a state of physical or nervous tension
Related terms: relaxed edgy nervous strained pumped-up edgy pumped drawn aroused isotonic cliff-hanging unrelaxed cliff-hanging electric uneasy agitated
4. [ verb ] stretch or force to the limit
Synonyms: strain

"strain the rope"

Related terms: tighten tension
5. [ adjective ] taut or rigid; stretched tight

"tense piano strings"

Related terms: lax taut overstrung tight
6. [ adjective ] (phonetics) pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles (e.g., the vowel sound in `beat')
Related terms: lax phonetics constricted
7. [ verb ] become tense or tenser
Synonyms: tense_up

"He tensed up when he saw his opponent enter the room"

Related terms: relax change_state tension
8. [ verb ] make tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious;
Synonyms: strain tense_up
Related terms: relax relax relax affect stretch crick tension
Similar spelling:   teens