adjective, tens·er, tens·est.
verb (used with or without object), tensed, tens·ing.
THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?
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
I’ll enjoy not being so tense that I clench my muscles until I become the rare case of a living person going into rigor mortis.Okay, so maybe we don’t miss everything about holiday travel|Liz Langley|December 18, 2020|Washington Post
The pandemic had exacerbated an already tense parenting arrangement between Richard Sherrick and Kimberly Page, who were never married but have two boys who are 6 and 4.The Family Court Judge Who Threatened a Mother With Contempt of Court for Getting Her Child a COVID-19 Test|by Marshall Allen, ProPublica, and Rachel Dissell for ProPublica|December 18, 2020|ProPublica
A long road backA few years ago, publishers spoke about Instant Articles mostly in the past tense.Cheat sheet: Facebook Instant Articles revenues rise for publishers|Max Willens|December 16, 2020|Digiday
For people dealing with tense shoulders and necks, the bizarre design of this sleep wedge will protect from pinched nerves and other nighttime misalignments.
Stockholm County Mayor Irene Svenonius says the situation is “extremely tense.”Sweden’s frontline health care workers are quitting in worrying numbers as COVID cases spike|kdunn6|December 13, 2020|Fortune
The air itself had a certain electrical tenseness about it, like the silence before a storm.
He saw the tenseness of the abdominal organs, felt the blind fear in the creature's mind.Insidekick|Jesse Franklin Bone
The scout fought down a surge of panic, attempted to battle the tenseness which tied his nerves.Star Born|Andre Norton
Sadie gave him a searching glance and he noted an ominous tenseness in her pose and her drawn-back lips.The Girl From Keller's|Harold Bindloss
It was a week of strained tenseness; a certain electricity seemed at hand in the atmosphere, inhibiting speech.The Onslaught from Rigel|Fletcher Pratt
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”).