Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A property of verbs in which the time of the action or state, as well as its continuance or completion, is indicated or expressed.
  • noun A category or set of verb forms that indicate or express the time, such as past, present, or future, of the action or state.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Being in a state of tension; stretched until tight; strained to stiffness; rigid; not lax: often used figuratively.
  • To make tense or taut.
  • noun Time. See temps.
  • noun In grammar: Time.
  • noun One of the forms, or sets of forms, which a verb takes in order to indicate the time of action or of that which is affirmed: extended also to forms indicating the nature of the action as continued, completed, and the like.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Stretched tightly; strained to stiffness; rigid; not lax.
  • noun (Gram.) One of the forms which a verb takes by inflection or by adding auxiliary words, so as to indicate the time of the action or event signified; the modification which verbs undergo for the indication of time.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun grammar Any of the forms of a verb which distinguish when an action or state of being occurs or exists.
  • adjective Showing signs of stress or strain; not relaxed.
  • adjective Pulled taut, without any slack.
  • verb To make or become tense.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb become tense, nervous, or uneasy
  • noun a grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time
  • adjective in or of a state of physical or nervous tension
  • adjective pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles (e.g., the vowel sound in `beat')
  • verb become stretched or tense or taut
  • verb cause to be tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious
  • verb increase the tension on
  • adjective taut or rigid; stretched tight

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English tens, from Old French, time, from Latin tempus.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin tensus, past participle of tendere ("stretch").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French tens (modern French temps), from Latin tempus.

Examples

  • Mom backed away, and Grandma sat down again, her expression tense and frightened.

    Perfect You

  • Mom backed away, and Grandma sat down again, her expression tense and frightened.

    Perfect You

  • Mom backed away, and Grandma sat down again, her expression tense and frightened.

    Perfect You

  • The word tense at this juncture would be a grave understatement.

    The Brotherhood of Man

  • To millions of schoolchildren, the word tense meant only how you felt before a pop quiz.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • To millions of schoolchildren, the word tense meant only how you felt before a pop quiz.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • To millions of schoolchildren, the word tense meant only how you felt before a pop quiz.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • To millions of schoolchildren, the word tense meant only how you felt before a pop quiz.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • She bent closer, her expression tense with concentration.

    Sharp Edges

  • In English grammar, the term tense is reserved for verbs (associated with the concept of time).

    بالاترین

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