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English adjective: tense

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

Similarantsy, aroused, cliff-hanging, edgy, electric, fidgety, fretful, high-strung, highly strung, isotonic, itchy, jittery, jumpy, nail-biting, nervous, nervy, overstrung, pumped, pumped up, pumped-up, restive, strained, suspenseful, suspensive, taut, unrelaxed, uptight, wired, wound up

See alsoagitated, uneasy


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


Domain categoryphonetics


3. tense taut or rigid; stretched tight

SamplesTense piano strings.

Similaroverstrung, taut, tight

See alsotight


English noun: tense

1. tense (communication) a grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time

Broader (hypernym)grammatical category, syntactic category

Narrower (hyponym)aorist, continuous tense, future, future tense, imperfect, imperfect tense, past, past tense, perfect, perfect tense, perfective, perfective tense, present, present tense, progressive, progressive tense

English verb: tense

1. tense (contact) become stretched or tense or taut

SamplesThe bodybuilder's neck muscles tensed;.
The rope strained when the weight was attached.


Pattern of useSomething ----s

Broader (hypernym)tighten

2. tense (change) increase the tension on

SamplesAlternately relax and tense your calf muscle.
Tense the rope manually before tensing the spring.

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

Broader (hypernym)alter, change, modify

3. tense (body) become tense, nervous, or uneasy

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

Synonymstense up

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

Broader (hypernym)change state, turn

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

4. tense (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 up

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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