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tense1

[tens] /tɛns/
adjective, tenser, tensest.
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 object), verb (used without object), tensed, tensing.
5.
to make or become tense.
Origin
1660-1670
1660-70; < Latin tēnsus past participle of tendere to stretch; see tend1
Related forms
tensely, adverb
tenseness, noun
untensing, adjective

tense2

[tens] /tɛns/
noun
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.
Origin
1275-1325; Middle English tens < Middle French < Latin tempus time
Related forms
tenseless, adjective
tenselessly, adverb
tenselessness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for tense
  • NO attentive reader could fail to be aware that the present tense is in ascendancy.
  • Sometimes those differences develop into tense debates about the borders of the field, and about who's in and who's out.
  • They predict the next verb to fall into line will be wed, the past tense of which will regularize from wed to wedded.
  • Such stillness and the tense atmosphere are appropriate counterpoints to a viewer who is feeling a bit lackluster.
  • Relationships between faculty unions and college presidents can be tense.
  • Test yourself with the five questions from the championship round, then watch video of the tense final minutes.
  • Patients thought of a word, changed its tense or number and silently articulated it.
  • Whenever possible, use the present or past tense when you speak.
  • tense to the end, the match was not settled until the stroke of midnight and the last ball.
  • The conflict between countries, and the tense drama of their independent progress, unfolds in vivid prose.
British Dictionary definitions for tense

tense1

/tɛns/
adjective
1.
stretched or stressed tightly; taut or rigid
2.
under mental or emotional strain
3.
producing mental or emotional strain a tense day
4.
(of a speech sound) pronounced with considerable muscular effort and having relatively precise accuracy of articulation and considerable duration in English the vowel () in ``beam'' is tense Compare lax (sense 4)
verb
5.
(often foll by up) to make or become tense
Derived Forms
tensely, adverb
tenseness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin tensus taut, from tendere to stretch

tense2

/tɛns/
noun
1.
(grammar) a category of the verb or verbal inflections, such as present, past, and future, that expresses the temporal relations between what is reported in a sentence and the time of its utterance
Derived Forms
tenseless, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French tens time, from Latin tempus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tense
tense
"stretched tight," 1670, from L. tensus, pp. of tendere "to stretch" (see tenet). Sense of "in a state of nervous tension" is first recorded 1821. The verb meaning "to make tense" is from 1676; intrans. sense of "to become tense" (often tense up) is recorded from 1946.
tense
"form of a verb showing time of an action or state," early 14c., tens "time," also "tense of a verb" (late 14c.), from O.Fr. tens "time" (11c.), from L. tempus (see temporal).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tense in Culture

tense definition


An inflectional (see inflection) form of verbs; it expresses the time at which the action described by the verb takes place. The major tenses are past, present, and future. The verb in “I sing” is in the present tense; in “I sang,” past tense; in “I will sing,” future tense. Other tenses are the present perfect (“I have sung”), the past perfect (“I had sung”), and the future perfect (“I will have sung”).

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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tense in Technology


Of programs, very clever and efficient. A tense piece of code often got that way because it was highly bummed, but sometimes it was just based on a great idea. A comment in a clever routine by Mike Kazar, once a grad-student hacker at CMU: "This routine is so tense it will bring tears to your eyes." A tense programmer is one who produces tense code.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Word of The Day

Difficulty index for tense

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Word Value for tense

5
6
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