"tense" in the noun sense
a grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time
"tense" in the verb sense
1. strain, tense
become stretched or tense or taut
"the bodybuilder's neck muscles tensed"
"the rope strained when the weight was attached"
increase the tension on
"alternately relax and tense your calf muscle"
"tense the rope manually before tensing the spring"
3. tense, tense up
become tense, nervous, or uneasy
"He tensed up when he saw his opponent enter the room"
4. tense, strain, tense up
cause to be tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious
"he got a phone call from his lawyer that tensed him up"
"tense" in the adjective sense
in or of a state of physical or nervous tension
pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles (e.g., the vowel sound in `beat')
taut or rigid stretched tight
"tense piano strings"
Source: WordNet® (An amazing lexical database of English)
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