Adjective "tense" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


(especially of a muscle) stretched tight or rigid.
  1. 'My muscles were tense from the unusual exertion, and my body was still exhausted.'
  2. 'She sighed and stretched her tense muscles.'
  3. 'The man did not extend his hand, but his tense posture relaxed noticeably.'
  4. 'The warm water felt so very good on his tense muscles.'
  5. 'Learning to breathe more fully can help you let go of pain and loosen tense muscles.'
  6. 'She tried to stand up, but her already tense muscles had stiffened considerably during the flight.'
  7. 'She was exhausted and she needed a hot, steaming shower to loosen her tense muscles.'
  8. 'He relaxed his tense finger that had been curled around the trigger.'
  9. 'This move relaxes tense muscles all along your spine.'
  10. 'She put her hands on his back and rubbed the tense muscles soothingly.'
  11. 'Tense vowels tend to be peripheral and lax vowels closer to schwa, the neutral or central vowel.'
Unable to relax because of nervousness, anxiety, or stimulation.
  1. 'I relaxed myself after being tense for a few minutes.'
  2. 'Feeling more and more tense and unable to sleep, he was prescribed drugs.'
  3. 'Children who are feeling anxiety may be tense or get upset easily.'
  4. 'We all waited in tense excitement.'
  5. 'At first she was tense, but she relaxed slightly when he put his arm around her.'
  6. 'Whereas she's relatively calm and relaxed, he's tense and anxious.'
  7. 'His body had relaxed a bit, but his voice was tense and apprehensive.'
  8. 'He decided a refreshing dip would relax his tense nerves.'
  9. 'I really need to sleep and I'm too tense to relax.'
  10. 'There was a big crowd now, and Celinda was already tense with excitement.'
  11. 'they waited in tense silence'
  12. 'The atmosphere is tense and edgy, and the political slogans on the posters read like threats.'
  13. 'It occurred to me that what he did for a living was relax people in tense situations.'
  14. 'The province was increasingly tense in recent weeks.'
  15. 'The silence was an intangible tense feeling in the air.'
  16. 'He has created a fresh, tense and gripping thriller.'
  17. 'In an exciting and very tense second half, the teams were locked together on three occasions.'
  18. 'As soon as she left, an awkward and tense silence settled over the room.'
  19. 'A tense, uncomfortable silence lay heavy upon them.'
  20. 'Nobody said anything for a while, creating an uneasy and tense silence.'
  21. 'It's a superb film that's tense and riveting.'


Become tense, typically through anxiety or nervousness.
  1. 'He tensed up for a single second, and then relaxed, all his worries and pain leaving him.'
  2. 'He tensed up again as he was confronted by the cold glares of his wife.'
  3. 'If you get too tensed up and let it get to you, that's counter-productive.'
  4. 'He tensed up when he saw her.'
  5. 'I tensed up at the idea that I wouldn't make it in time to see Josh one last time.'
  6. 'They are so tensed up, they become near nervous wrecks.'
  7. 'He tensed up as he heard weapons fire coming from the area to his right.'
  8. 'She tensed up as people stared and laughed.'
  9. 'He immediately tensed up at the question.'
  10. 'The film that creates such an atmosphere of despair that I begin to tense up and get nervous.'
  11. 'carefully stretch and then tense your muscles'
  12. 'I must have tensed my body at the wrong time; my ribs were in agony.'
  13. 'Shallow breathing often results from tensing your upper body.'
  14. 'She watched his hand move over the gun and her body tensed up.'
  15. 'When we are stressed our body responds by tensing the muscles.'
  16. 'Tense each body part for a moment and then relax it.'
  17. 'She wrung her hands nervously behind her back, shoulders tensing and untensing.'
  18. 'In order to widen your eyes, you must tense certain muscles in your face.'
  19. 'Panic sufferers usually tense their bodies and breathe in a way that increases symptoms.'
  20. 'You always have some worry going through your mind, your muscles are always tensed.'
  21. 'Being under stress causes you to tense your muscles, and this can make you more prone to injury.'


A set of forms taken by a verb to indicate the time (and sometimes also the continuance or completeness) of the action in relation to the time of the utterance.
  1. 'The tenses switch from past to present and back again and there is a dramatic use of dialogue.'
  2. 'But just because we can decode his meaning in spite of his mixing of tenses (past tense and future brutally slammed together), doesn't make it a good practice.'
  3. 'As the network learned, it began to generate ‘digged’ for ‘dug,’ regular past tenses of irregular verbs.'


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. Phonetics. pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles; narrow.Compare lax (def 7). verb (used with or without object), tensed, tensing.

5. to make or become tense.

More examples(as adjective)

"places can be tense after waves."

"places can be tense after lootings."

"situations can be tense on dates."

"provinces can be tense for months."

"places can be tense for months."

More examples++


(tense)Middle English (in the general sense ‘time’): from Old French tens, from Latin tempus ‘time’.