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English verb: tense up

1. tense up (body) become tense, nervous, or uneasy

SamplesHe tensed up when he saw his opponent enter the room.


Pattern of useSomething ----s.
Somebody ----s.
Somebody's (body part) ----s

Broader (hypernym)change state, turn

Antonymsrelax, decompress, unwind, loosen up, slow down, unbend

2. tense up (body) cause to be tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious

SamplesHe got a phone call from his lawyer that tensed him up.

Synonymsstrain, tense

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)affect

Narrower (hyponym)extend, stretch

Causetense, tense up

Antonymsmake relaxed, unlax, unstrain, relax, unwind, loosen up

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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