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1

tense

play
noun \ˈten(t)s\

Simple Definition of tense

  • grammar : a form of a verb that is used to show when an action happened

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of tense

  1. 1 :  a distinction of form in a verb to express distinctions of time or duration of the action or state it denotes

  2. 2a :  a set of inflectional forms of a verb that express distinctions of timeb :  an inflectional form of a verb expressing a specific time distinction

Examples of tense in a sentence

  1. The sentence will read better if you change the tense of the verb.

  2. You should avoid changing tense in the middle of a paragraph.



Origin and Etymology of tense

Middle English tens time, tense, from Anglo-French, from Latin tempus


First Known Use: 14th century


2

tense

adjective

Simple Definition of tense

  • : nervous and not able to relax

  • : showing or causing nervousness

  • : not relaxed but hard and tight

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of tense

tenser

tensest

  1. 1 :  stretched tight :  made taut :  rigid <tense muscles>

  2. 2a :  feeling or showing nervous tension <a tense smile>b :  marked by strain or suspense <a tense thriller>

  3. 3 :  produced with the muscles involved in a relatively tense state <the vowels \ē\ and \ü\ in contrast with the vowels \i\ and \u̇\ are tense>

tensely

adverb

tenseness

noun

Examples of tense in a sentence

  1. She was feeling pretty tense.

  2. Why are you so tense?

  3. We sat quietly for a few tense moments.

  4. It was a tense meeting.

  5. My calf muscles are really tense.



Origin and Etymology of tense

Latin tensus, from past participle of tendere to stretch — more at thin


First Known Use: 1668


3

tense

verb

Simple Definition of tense

  • : to make (a muscle) hard and tight

  • : to become nervous or tense

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of tense

tensed

tensing

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to make tense

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to become tense <tensed up and missed the putt>

Examples of tense in a sentence

  1. She tensed as he walked toward her.

  2. He tensed up and missed the putt.



1676

First Known Use of tense

1676

Rhymes with tense



TENSE Defined for Kids

1

tense

play
noun \ˈtens\

Definition of tense for Students

  1. :  a form of a verb used to show the time of the action or state




2

tense

play
adjective

Definition of tense for Students

tenser

tensest

  1. 1 :  feeling or showing worry or nervousness :  not relaxed <a tense smile>

  2. 2 :  marked by strain or uncertainty <a tense moment>

  3. 3 :  stretched tight <tense muscles>

tensely

adverb

tenseness

noun


Word Root of tense

The Latin word tendere, meaning to “stretch” or “to spread,” and its form tentus give us the roots tend, tent, and tens. Words from the Latin tendere have something to do with stretching or spreading. A tent is a temporary shelter made from stretched out fabric. To distend is to stretch outward and swell in all directions. To extend is to stretch out. A tendon is a cord that connects a muscle to another muscle or to a bone and that stretches allowing a joint to bend. Something tense is stretched tight.


3

tense

play
verb

Definition of tense for Students

tensed

tensing

  1. 1 :  to make or become worried or nervous <She tensed as the deadline grew near.>

  2. 2 :  to make (a muscle) hard and tight <She tensed her shoulders.>




Medical Dictionary

1

tense

play
adjective \ˈten(t)s\

Medical Definition of tense

tenser

;

tensest

  1. 1:  stretched tight :  made taut or rigid <the skeletal musculature involuntarily becomes tense—H. G. Armstrong>

  2. 2:  feeling or showing nervous tension <was tense and irritable>

tenseness

noun



2

tense

verb

Medical Definition of tense

tensed

;

tensing

  1. transitive verb

  2. :  to make tense <tense a muscle>

  3. intransitive verb

  4. :  to become tense





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