(of a speech sound) pronounced with considerable muscular effort and having relatively precise accuracy of articulation and considerable durationin English the vowel (iː) in ``beam'' is tense Compare lax (def. 4)
(often foll by up)to make or become tense
Derived Formstensely, adverbtenseness, noun
Word Origin for tense
C17: from Latin tensus taut, from tendere to stretch
grammara category of the verb or verbal inflections, such as present, past, and future, that expresses the temporal relations between what is reported in a sentence and the time of its utterance
An inflectional (seeinflection) 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”).