Definitions of tense

  1. stretch or force to the limit; " strain the rope"
  2. a grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time
  3. taut or rigid; stretched tight; " tense piano strings"
  4. ( phonetics) pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles ( e. g., the vowel sound in ` beat')
  5. in or of a state of physical or nervous tension
  6. become tense or tenser; " He tensed up when he saw his opponent enter the room"
  7. increase the tension on; " tense a rope"
  8. make tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious;
  9. pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles ( e. g., the vowel sound in ` beat')
  10. 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.
  11. Stretched tightly; strained to stiffness; rigid; not lax; as, a tense fiber.
  12. Drawn tightly; not lax; severely strained; rigid; tense nerves.
  13. A change in the form of a verb, showing the time of the action expressed; a verb form which indicates a certain distinction of time by changing its form or by the help of auxiliaries.
  14. Tenser.
  15. Tensest.
  16. The form of a verb to indicate the time of the action.
  17. Strained to stiffness: rigid.
  18. Form of a verb to indicate time.
  19. Strained tight.
  20. Stretched tight.
  21. A form taken by a verb to indicate the time of an action, state, etc.
  22. Stretched: strained to stiffness.
  23. An inflection in verbs to distinguish the time of the action.
  24. Drawn tight; stretched; rigid.
  25. That form or modification of the verb by which time is expressed.

Usage examples for tense

  1. McCall stopped; his features were drawn and tense. – Death Points a Finger by Will Levinrew
  2. The feeling that his father, whom he had hardly hoped ever to see again, was within a mile or so, had plunged him into such a state of tense excitement that it was all he could do to control it. – On Land And Sea At The Dardanelles by Thomas Charles Bridges
  3. He hadn't known until then how tense he'd been. – Acid Bath by Vaseleos Garson
  4. In the letter she sent to Maurice, though she said Little more than her thanks for his kindness, he read All her tense nervous feelings between its few lines. – Three Women by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  5. In the second and third persons of that tense. – The Grammar of English Grammars by Goold Brown
  6. You'll never get Olivia, said Miss Pewsey, in a sharp tense voice, and you can go away as soon as you like. – The Mandarin's Fan by Fergus Hume
  7. She went out, leaving a tense astonishment behind her. – The Woman With The Fan by Robert Hichens
  8. Yet his whole body was tense, his eyes never wavered, his hand was as steady as his chauffeur's. – The Long Lane's Turning by Hallie Erminie Rives
  9. My own voice almost startled me, it sounded so suddenly tense and strained. – The Harbor by Ernest Poole
  10. " I have never before felt so ill at ease with any human being," exclaimed the priest with tense excitement. – The Garden Of Allah by Robert Hichens
  11. " You referred, of course, to his drinking," said Genevieve, in a tone as tense as it was quiet. – Out of the Primitive by Robert Ames Bennet
  12. Love ought to have no past tense. – An Ambitious Man by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  13. Then, abruptly, in a tense whisper, he spoke: Toby, you little fool, stop it- stop it, do you hear? – Charles Rex by Ethel M. Dell
  14. She was breathing quickly, and her body was tense. – Baree, Son of Kazan by James Oliver Curwood
  15. She had expected it day after day; until now, when she faced Horace and looked into his tense face, she felt that her whole hope had gone. – From the Valley of the Missing by Grace Miller White
  16. He smiled, but his eyes remained serious, and his forehead tense. – The Song of Songs by Hermann Sudermann
  17. " Why- why-" Ricky faltered, " Charity Biglow said that you knew all about the swamp-" His tense position relaxed a fraction. – Ralestone Luck by Andre Norton
  18. " If the brat dies," she began in a low, tense tone, " be ye goin' to marry Ben Letts?" – Tess of the Storm Country by Grace Miller White
  19. It was a tense moment for all. – Polly and Her Friends Abroad by Lillian Elizabeth Roy