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
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
Uganda has moved to clamp down on social media use in the country even as its diplomatic relations with the US have taken a bad turn after a tense and disputed election.Uganda has blocked social media indefinitely as diplomatic tensions spike with US|Stephen Kafeero|January 19, 2021|Quartz
“While I don’t think anything I’d say would reflect poorly on our district or my school, I know things are tense and I wouldn’t want to agitate it further,” said the teacher, who teaches American history at a high school.After Capitol attack, social studies and civics teachers struggle with real-time history lessons|Joe Heim, Valerie Strauss|January 19, 2021|Washington Post
The NBA’s 11 scheduled games proceeded as scheduled despite the tense scene earlier in the day at the nation’s capital.Bucks, Pistons lead NBA protests of Jacob Blake decision, Capitol violence|Ben Golliver|January 7, 2021|Washington Post
For instance, if you tend to bounce your knee up and down by tensing your calf muscle, choose a seat away from other people who may find the resulting vibrations hard to ignore.
Paulsen refers to himself as “the boy” rather than “I” in the book, and he recalls many tense and dangerous moments.Gary Paulsen tells his own survival story in ‘Gone to the Woods’|Mary Quattlebaum|January 5, 2021|Washington Post
He is tensely and formally dressed on all occasions, with an encyclopedic memory of beer labels.
Malcolm had heard many such tensely dramatic stories from fugitives who had reached Lucknow during July.The Red Year|Louis Tracy
John watched the kitten, and Eric watched, too—watched tensely, for he sensed what would happen to it.The Medici Boots|Pearl Norton Swet
Moya faced them tensely, a slim wraith of a girl with dark eyes that blazed.The Highgrader|William MacLeod Raine
"Ah, I see——" And then, "That other door," he whispered tensely.
"They will win their way across, unless he wakes," said Renwick tensely.
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”).