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English definition of “tense”

tense

verb [I or T]     /tens/ (also tense up)
If you or your muscles tense, your muscles become stiff and tight because you are frightened or nervous, or are preparing yourself to do something: Don't tense your shoulders, just relax. I could feel myself tense up as he touched my neck.Tight and tightening tensed up very nervous and worried and unable to relax because of something that is going to happen: You seem very tensed up. Are you still waiting for that call?Anxious and worried Grammar:Types of nounsA noun refers to a person, animal or thing. Some examples are:See more
(Definition of tense verb from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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