Pronunciation: (tens), [key]
adj., tens•er, tens•est,
v., tensed, tens•ing.

1. stretched tight, as a cord, fiber, etc.; drawn taut; rigid.
2. in a state of mental or nervous strain; high-strung; taut: a tense person.
3. characterized by a strain upon the nerves or feelings: a tense moment.
4. Phonet.pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles; narrow. Cf. lax (def. 7).

v.t., v.i.
to make or become tense.


Pronunciation: (tens), [key]
1. a category of verbal inflection that serves chiefly to specify the time of the action or state expressed by the verb.
2. a set of such categories or constructions in a particular language.
3. the time, as past, present, or future, expressed by such a category.
4. such categories or constructions, or their meanings collectively.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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