Synonyms of tense


1. tense, grammatical category, syntactic category

usage: a grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time


1. strain, tense, tighten

usage: become stretched or tense or taut; "the bodybuilder's neck muscles tensed;" "the rope strained when the weight was attached"

2. tense, change, alter, modify

usage: increase the tension on; "alternately relax and tense your calf muscle"; "tense the rope manually before tensing the spring"

3. tense, tense up, change state, turn

usage: become tense, nervous, or uneasy; "He tensed up when he saw his opponent enter the room"

4. tense, strain, tense up, affect

usage: cause to be tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious; "he got a phone call from his lawyer that tensed him up"


1. tense (vs. relaxed), aroused, wound up, cliff-hanging, suspenseful, suspensive, nail-biting, taut, antsy, fidgety, fretful, itchy, edgy, high-strung, highly strung, jittery, jumpy, nervy, overstrung, restive, uptight, electric, isotonic, nervous, strained, unrelaxed, pumped-up(prenominal), pumped up(predicate), pumped(predicate), wired, agitated, uneasy

usage: in or of a state of physical or nervous tension

2. tense (vs. lax), constricted

usage: pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles (e.g., the vowel sound in `beat')

3. tense (vs. lax), overstrung, taut, tight, tight

usage: taut or rigid; stretched tight; "tense piano strings"

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Definition and meaning of tense (Dictionary)