(noun, adjective, verb)


1. in or of a state of physical or nervous tension

Similar word(s): agitated, uneasy, aroused, suspenseful, suspensive, taut, antsy, fidgety, fretful, itchy, edgy, jittery, jumpy, nervy, overstrung, uptight, electric, isotonic, nervous, strained, unrelaxed, pumped, wired

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

Similar word(s): constricted

3. tight or rigid; stretched tight

- tense piano strings

Similar word(s): tight, overstrung, taut, tight

Sentences with tense as an adjective:

- You need to relax, all this overtime and stress is making you tense.


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

Definition categories: communication

Sentences with tense as a noun:

- The basic tenses in English are present, past, and future.


1. become stretched or tense or taut

- the bodybuilder's neck muscles tensed

Similar word(s): strain

Definition categories: contact, tighten

2. increase the tension on

- alternately relax and tense your calf muscle

- tense the rope manually before tensing the spring

Definition categories: change, alter, modify

3. become tense, nervous, or uneasy

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

Definition categories: body, turn

4. cause to be tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious

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

Similar word(s): strain

Definition categories: body, affect