She was feeling pretty tense.
Why are you so tense?
We sat quietly for a few tense moments.
It was a tense meeting.
My calf muscles are really tense. Verb
She tensed as he walked toward her.
He tensed up and missed the putt. Noun
The sentence will read better if you change the tense of the verb.
You should avoid changing tense in the middle of a paragraph. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
At least two Palestinians were injured Saturday at a tense West Bank checkpoint where Israel was to free prisoners.—CBS News, 25 Nov. 2023 Additionally, your jaw is not as tense, which changes the visibility of it and creates a slimmer appearance.—Sarah Y. Wu, Glamour, 22 Nov. 2023 In a tense moment on a Lisbon train platform, one traveler learned just how critical this one’s zipper could be.—Sarah Khan, WSJ, 21 Nov. 2023 There’s also a bananas foster flambé in that segment, which was so stressful to shoot, because working with live fire on set can be tense.—Los Angeles Times Staff, Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2023 After all, getting ready for a dance — asking someone out, being fitted for formal wear — is exciting and tense for any young adult.—Erik Piepenburg, New York Times, 15 Nov. 2023 During a tense family moment, consider taking a step back to allow both parties a moment to cool off.—Chanda Reynolds, Essence, 15 Nov. 2023 In Psychology highlighted the importance of healthy communication in a relationship, not just in tense moments like a fight or an emergency but also when experiencing good times like a promotion or a romantic vacation.—Mark Travers, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 Her decision to turn in her diamond came after a tense season 10, during which the actress found herself at odds with nearly all of her costars.—Esther Kang, Peoplemag, 10 Nov. 2023
Servers tensed and hustled as Onwuachi shouted directions and called for extra hands.—Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, 2 Oct. 2023 Medicine ball fight The final ab-conditioning exercise is a bit of a curveball—or medicine ball, to be exact—and involves simply throwing themselves onto medicine balls, tensing the core as much as possible prior to impact.—Philip Ellis, Men's Health, 13 Aug. 2023 Altruism is a daily practice, a muscle waiting to be tensed and strengthened.—Lori Keong, ELLE Decor, 12 Apr. 2023 Both officers moved to handcuff the teenager, who tensed his arms and tried to resist the restraints as police moved him in front of a patrol wagon, according to the report.—Jeremy C. Fox, BostonGlobe.com, 1 Aug. 2023 Another primary way stress impacts our vaginal health is by tensing and restricting our pelvic floor muscles.—Dominique Fluker, Essence, 27 July 2023 This can help stretch the muscles in the back of your neck that may be tensing up during prodrome.—Julia Ries, SELF, 14 July 2023 Anxiety tenses the body—attempting to control a motion can limit the degrees of freedom in a joint.—Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, 12 June 2023 Mike Brosseau was called a ball with one out in the third, Jameson seemed to tense up on the mound, prompting Lovullo to start barking at Morales from the dugout.—Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, 12 Apr. 2023
The sad factor is that this was apparently put into production shortly before Jamal died this year, as the notes refer to him as a supervisor on the project, and not in the past tense.—Chris Willman, Variety, 24 Nov. 2023 While her son speaks of his sister in the present tense, Crawford often uses the past tense.—Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post, 11 Nov. 2023 Holin, 44, spoke about Kfar Aza, where she was born and raised and where her son and daughter were growing up, in the past tense.—Brittny Mejia, Los Angeles Times, 5 Nov. 2023 Niro’s art, which speaks in the present tense and affirms the continuity of the Mohawk people, is haunted by the displacement of her ancestors.—Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 26 Aug. 2023 Stories can be told in the present tense, and then reviewed using past tense forms.—Los Angeles Times, 14 Sep. 2023 The members of Måneskin are between the ages of 22 and 24, situating them firmly within the cadre of people who understand rock in the past tense.—Dan Brooks, New York Times, 12 Sep. 2023 This play seems to be taking place in the present tense, but also in retrospect, through Sofi’s point of view.—Liz Appel, Vogue, 8 Sep. 2023 Even as, somewhere north and west of me, a Mohawk girl named Shelley was coming of age, this woman spoke in the past tense, about things long ago, things that had seemingly disappeared.—Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 26 Aug. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tense.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
borrowed from Latin tensus, from past participle of tendere "to extend outward, stretch, spread out" — more at tender entry 3