tense


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Related to tense: future tense, past tense, perfect tense, present perfect tense, present tense, Verb tense

tense

(tens),
Tight, rigid, or strained; characterized by anxiety and psychological strain.
[L. tensus, pp. of tendo, to stretch]

tense

(tĕns)
1. Tight, rigid.
2. Anxious, under mental stress.
References in classic literature ?
White and livid was his tense drawn face, but he spoke no word.
I could feel in my tense grip the pull of the hair as her skin and her muscles moved beneath with her efforts.
Struck in mid-air, a trifle of a flying machine, all its delicate gears tangled and disrupted, Cocky fell to the floor in a shower of white feathers, which, like snowflakes, eddied slowly down after, and after the plummet-like descent of the cat, so that some of them came to rest on her back, startling her tense nerves with their gentle impact and making her crouch closer while she shot a swift glance around and overhead for any danger that might threaten.
Both men were clutching each other in a tense embrace; no blows were being struck at all.
I have related it in the past tense, but the present would be the fitter form, for again and again the somber tragedy reenacts itself in my consciousness--over and over I lay the plan, I suffer the confirmation, I redress the wrong.
HE was a young man, not more than twenty-four or five, and he might have sat his horse with the careless grace of his youth had he not been so catlike and tense.
I make mention of the race, as of the Yorkshire schoolmasters, in the past tense.
The relations among the men, strained and made tense by feuds, quarrels and grudges, were in a state of unstable equilibrium, and evil passions flared up in flame like prairie- grass.
The tense in the belief that "this occurred" is provided by the nature of the belief-feeling involved in memory; the word "this," as we have seen, has a vagueness which we have tried to describe.
She drew a loud breath and snorted out through her tense nostrils, started, pricked up her sharp ear, and put out her strong, black lip towards Vronsky, as though she would nip hold of his sleeve.
By three in the afternoon the strain of the piece-workers in the humid, heated room grew tense.
These bits of wood were covered, on every square, with paper pasted on them; and on these papers were written all the words of their language, in their several moods, tenses, and declensions; but without any order.