Definition of Tense

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

2. Verb. Become stretched or tense or taut. "The rope strained when the weight was attached"
Exact synonyms: Strain
Generic synonyms: Tighten
Derivative terms: Strain, Tension, Tension

3. Noun. A grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time.

4. Adjective. Pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles (e.g., the vowel sound in 'beat').
Category relationships: Phonetics
Similar to: Constricted
Antonyms: Lax

5. Verb. Increase the tension on. "Tense the rope manually before tensing the spring"
Generic synonyms: Alter, Change, Modify
Derivative terms: Tension, Tension

6. Adjective. Taut or rigid; stretched tight. "Tense piano strings"
Also: Tight
Similar to: Overstrung, Taut, Tight
Antonyms: Lax
Derivative terms: Tenseness, Tensity

7. Verb. Become tense, nervous, or uneasy. "He tensed up when he saw his opponent enter the room"
Exact synonyms: Tense Up
Generic synonyms: Change State, Turn
Antonyms: Relax
Derivative terms: Tension, Tensor

8. Verb. Cause to be tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious. "He got a phone call from his lawyer that tensed him up"
Exact synonyms: Strain, Tense Up
Generic synonyms: Affect
Causes: Tense Up
Specialized synonyms: Extend, Stretch
Derivative terms: Strain, Tension
Antonyms: Unstrain, Relax

Definition of Tense

1. n. 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.

2. a. Stretched tightly; strained to stiffness; rigid; not lax; as, a tense fiber.

Definition of Tense

1. Noun. (grammar) Any of the forms of a verb which distinguish when an action or state of being occurs or exists. ¹

2. Adjective. Showing signs of stress or strain; not relaxed. ¹

3. Adjective. Pulled taut, without any slack. ¹

4. Verb. To make or become tense. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Tense

1. taut [v TENSED, TENSING, TENSES] - See also: taut

Medical Definition of Tense

1. Tight, rigid, or strained; characterised by anxiety and psychological strain. Origin: L. Tensus, pp. Of tendo, to stretch (05 Mar 2000)

Lexicographical Neighbors of Tense

tenpenny nail
tenpin bowling
tense (current term)
tense part of the tympanic membrane
tense pulse
tense system
tense up

Literary usage of Tense

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. A Grammar of the German Language: Designed for a Thoro and Practical Study by George Oliver Curme (1922)
"Sie sagten, sie hätten (a past tense form instead of the present tense form haben) es nicht getan. Sie sagten, sie würden (a past tense form instead of the ..."

2. English Grammar Simplified: Its Study Made Easy by James Champlin Fernald (1916)
"Past tense.—I, he, we, you, they /iod.t Present Perfect and Past Perfect of all Verbs.—By adding to the present or past indicative of have the past ..."

3. English Grammar Simplified: Its Study Made Easy by James Champlin Fernald (1916)
"Must expresses absolute or imperative necessity, without change of mode, tense, person, or number. POTENTIAL MODE Present tense may, can, ..."

4. A Grammar of the Homeric Dialect by David Binning Monro (1882)
"Verb-Stem and tense-Stem. A comparison of the different forms of a Greek VERB ... Again, the different forms belonging to any one tense are based upon a ..."

5. The Beginner's Greek Book by John Williams White (1892)
"The tense-stems (152) so far presented may be grouped in the following tense-Systems : — a. ... tense-suffix none (in the fut. perf. -<г°Д_), tense-stem ..."

6. The Classical World by Classical Association of the Atlantic States (1916)
"Professor Hale's statement is, as already quoted, "A subjunctive clause is, in regard to its tense, not dependent upon the principal clause"; ..."

7. The Century Handbook of Writing by Garland Greever, Easley Stephen Jones (1918)
"In dependent clauses and infinitives, the tense is to be considered in relation to ... When narration in the past tense is interrupted for reference to a ..."

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