—adj. 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. Phonet.pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles; narrow. Cf. lax (def. 7).
—v.t., v.i. to make or become tense.
Pronunciation: (tens),[key] —n. 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.