adjective, tens·er, tens·est.
verb (used with or without object), tensed, tens·ing.
Origin of tense1
Origin of tense2
Examples from the Web for 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.
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
Rioting and looting ensued shortly after the verdict and racial tensions were tense across the United States for years to follow.
But so many years later, I still get a tense feeling in my stomach when I see a strong storm approaching.Heed the Warnings: Why We’re on the Brink of Mass Extinction|Sean B. Carroll|November 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The American boys were tense and strained, knowing that in a few hours they would be facing death.People of Destiny|Philip Gibbs
At sight of him her tense mood broke suddenly, and bursting into tears, she threw herself into his arms.Sir Christopher|Maud Wilder Goodwin
At a tense moment, such as this, cheering is often hypnotic, and good managers know how to make use of it on the floor.In the Arena|Booth Tarkington
He continued standing in that tense attitude, his eyes vague and dreamy.The Historical Nights' Entertainment|Rafael Sabatini
Government 077is that power which one part of speech has over another, in directing its mood, tense, or case.The Comic English Grammar|Percival Leigh
Word Origin for tense
Word Origin for tense
"stretched tight," 1660s, from Latin tensus, past participle of tendere "to stretch" (see tenet). Sense of "in a state of nervous tension" is first recorded 1821.
"form of a verb showing time of an action or state," early 14c., tens "time," also "tense of a verb" (late 14c.), from Old French tens "time" (11c.), from Latin tempus (see temporal).
"to make tense," 1670s, from tense (adj.); intransitive sense of "to become tense" (often tense up) is recorded from 1946. Related: Tensed; tensing.
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”).