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tense

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adjective American English pronunciation: tense /tens/ 
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adjectivetense
comparativetenser
superlativetensest
  1. 1
    making you feel nervous and not relaxed, usually because you are worried about what is going to happen

    a tense situation/atmosphere

    a tense silence:

    There was a tense silence as everyone waited for his reaction.

    a tense atmosphere:

    The atmosphere in the courtroom was extremely tense.

    1. a.
      feeling nervous and not relaxed, usually because you are worried about what is going to happen

      He was tired, but too tense to sleep.

      The city remains tense after Monday's bombing.

  2. 2
    pulled or stretched tight

    She was gently massaging the tense muscles of his neck.

derived words

tensely

adverb

tenseness

noun [uncountable]

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