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TENSE

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does tense mean? 

TENSE (noun)
  The noun TENSE has 1 sense:

1. a grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time

  Familiarity information: TENSE used as a noun is very rare.


TENSE (adjective)
  The adjective TENSE has 3 senses:

1. in or of a state of physical or nervous tension
2. pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles (e.g., the vowel sound in 'beat')
3. taut or rigid; stretched tight

  Familiarity information: TENSE used as an adjective is uncommon.


TENSE (verb)
  The verb TENSE has 4 senses:

1. become stretched or tense or taught
2. increase the tension on
3. become tense, nervous, or uneasy
4. cause to be tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious

  Familiarity information: TENSE used as a verb is uncommon.


 Dictionary entry details 


TENSE (noun)


Sense 1tense [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Hypernyms ("tense" is a kind of...):

grammatical category; syntactic category ((grammar) a category of words having the same grammatical properties)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "tense"):

present; present tense (a verb tense that expresses actions or states at the time of speaking)

aorist (a verb tense in some languages (classical Greek and Sanskrit) expressing action (especially past action) without indicating its completion or continuation)

past; past tense (a verb tense that expresses actions or states in the past)

future; future tense (a verb tense that expresses actions or states in the future)

continuous tense; imperfect; imperfect tense; progressive; progressive tense (a tense of verbs used in describing action that is on-going)

perfect; perfect tense; perfective; perfective tense (a tense of verbs used in describing action that has been completed (sometimes regarded as perfective aspect))


TENSE (adjective)


Sense 1tense [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

In or of a state of physical or nervous tension

Similar:

unrelaxed (nor relaxed)

strained (under great stress)

nervous (easily agitated)

isotonic (of two or more muscles; having equal tension)

electric ((of a situation) exceptionally tense)

edgy; high-strung; highly strung; in suspense; jittery; jumpy; nervy; overstrung; restive; uptight (being in a tense state)

taut (subjected to great tension; stretched tight)

cliff-hanging; nail-biting; suspenseful; suspensive ((of a situation) characterized by or causing suspense)

aroused; wound up (brought to a state of great tension)

pumped; pumped up; pumped-up; wired (tense with excitement and enthusiasm as from a rush of adrenaline)

Also:

uneasy (lacking a sense of security or affording no ease or reassurance)

agitated (troubled emotionally and usually deeply)

Antonym:

relaxed (without strain or anxiety)


Sense 2tense [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles (e.g., the vowel sound in 'beat')

Similar:

constricted (especially tense; especially in some dialects)

Domain category:

phonetics (the branch of acoustics concerned with speech processes including its production and perception and acoustic analysis)

Antonym:

lax (pronounced with muscles of the tongue and jaw relatively relaxed (e.g., the vowel sound in 'bet'))


Sense 3tense [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Taut or rigid; stretched tight

Context example:

tense piano strings

Similar:

taut; tight (pulled or drawn tight)

overstrung (too tightly strung)

Also:

tight (closely constrained or constricted or constricting)

Antonym:

lax (not taut or rigid; not stretched or held tight)


TENSE (verb)


Sense 1tense [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Become stretched or tense or taught

Classified under:

Verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging

Synonyms:

tense; strain

Context examples:

the bodybuilder's neck muscles tensed; / the rope strained when the weight was attached

Hypernyms (to "tense" is one way to...):

tighten (become tight or tighter)

Sentence frame:

Something ----s


Sense 2tense [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Increase the tension on

Classified under:

Verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.

Context examples:

alternately relax and tense your calf muscle / tense the rope manually before tensing the spring

Hypernyms (to "tense" is one way to...):

alter; change; modify (cause to change; make different; cause a transformation)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s something
Something ----s something


Sense 3tense [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Become tense, nervous, or uneasy

Classified under:

Verbs of grooming, dressing and bodily care

Synonyms:

tense up; tense

Context example:

He tensed up when he saw his opponent enter the room

Hypernyms (to "tense" is one way to...):

change state; turn (undergo a transformation or a change of position or action)

Sentence frames:

Something ----s
Somebody ----s
Somebody's (body part) ----s

Antonym:

relax (become less tense, rest, or take one's ease)


Sense 4tense [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Cause to be tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious

Classified under:

Verbs of grooming, dressing and bodily care

Synonyms:

tense up; tense; strain

Context example:

he got a phone call from his lawyer that tensed him up

Hypernyms (to "tense" is one way to...):

affect (act physically on; have an effect upon)

Cause:

tense; tense up (become tense, nervous, or uneasy)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "tense"):

extend; stretch (extend one's limbs or muscles, or the entire body)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s something
Something ----s somebody

Antonym:

relax (cause to feel relaxed)


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 TENSE: related words searches 

 Related FAQs: 
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