adjective, tens·er, tens·est.
verb (used with or without object), tensed, tens·ing.
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Origin of tense1
OTHER WORDS FROM tensetensely, adverbtenseness, nounun·tens·ing, adjective
Words nearby tense
Definition for tense (2 of 2)
Origin of tense2
OTHER WORDS FROM tensetenseless, adjectivetense·less·ly, adverbtense·less·ness, noun
Example sentences from the Web for tense
Turkish has an inferential tense marked by the suffix -miş, which you have to add to verbs whenever you are talking about something you did not personally see or something that you doubt.The true love story in Elif Batuman’s The Idiot is a love affair with language|Constance Grady|September 11, 2020|Vox
Landau seemed incredibly nice, but I found the mood strangely tense.‘The Dream Architects’: Inside the making of gaming’s biggest franchises|Rachel King|September 1, 2020|Fortune
Elections are always tense, but this year was something different.For Election Administrators, Death Threats Have Become Part of the Job|by Jessica Huseman|August 21, 2020|ProPublica
A tense advertising landscape in fourth quarter 2019 for Dow Jones — which includes The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s — saw its digital advertising revenue tumble by 7%.‘It’s less dire than it seemed to be’: How The Wall Street Journal’s digital ads business has weathered the downturn|Lucinda Southern|August 20, 2020|Digiday
In this case, it appears those processes have failed, and at a moment when relations between China and India – both nuclear armed states – are already tense.
The gym—a fragile collective of human ecology at the best of times—has suddenly become even more tense.
A tense commute to work in Houston will start to resemble a tense commute in Boston or New York City.
Elisabetta Piqué, who knew Bergoglio well as a cardinal, writes in the present tense as if to convey real time passing.
I covered New York politics for 15 years, and I saw some awfully tense moments between the police and Democratic politicians.The NY Police Union’s Vile War with Mayor De Blasio|Michael Tomasky|December 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Since Nestdrop continues to do so as of this writing, they wager a tense gamble that the odds will be in their favor.Days Are Numbered for Nestdrop, LA’s ‘Uber for Weed’|Justin Hampton|December 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Then, as the atmosphere of the room surged back, tense with vitality, her mind leapt forward in welcome.Uncanny Tales|Various
He crouched, nerves and muscles tense, controled in spite of the torturous cloud of scalding vapor that pressed close to him.
The two men eyed one another for a moment of tense silence, and marked suspicion.
A faint click reaches my tense ear, the streaming lightning burns into my face.Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist|Alexander Berkman
Will you tell us more about it, please, she whispered in a strange, tense voice; its soso difficult to understand.Those Dale Girls|Frank Weston Carruth
British Dictionary definitions for tense (1 of 2)
Derived forms of tensetensely, adverbtenseness, noun
Word Origin for tense
British Dictionary definitions for tense (2 of 2)
Derived forms of tensetenseless, adjective
Word Origin for tense
Cultural definitions for tense
An inflectional (see inflection) form of verbs; it expresses the time at which the action described by the verb takes place. The major tenses are past, present, and future. The verb in “I sing” is in the present tense; in “I sang,” past tense; in “I will sing,” future tense. Other tenses are the present perfect (“I have sung”), the past perfect (“I had sung”), and the future perfect (“I will have sung”).