tense - definition and synonyms

verb [intransitive/transitive] 

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/tens/
present tense
I/you/we/theytense
he/she/ittenses
present participletensing
past tensetensed
past participletensed

or tense up 

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  1. if you or your muscles tense, or if you tense them, they suddenly become tight

    Luke tensed when she touched him.