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  1. [noun] a grammatical category of verbs used to express distinctions of time

  2. [verb] stretch or force to the limit; "strain the rope"
    Synonyms: strain

  3. [verb] increase the tension on; "tense a rope"

  4. [verb] become tense or tenser; "He tensed up when he saw his opponent enter the room"
    Synonyms: up

  5. [verb] make tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious;
    Synonyms: strain, up

  6. [adjective] in or of a state of physical or nervous tension

  7. [adjective] pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles (e.g., the vowel sound in `beat')

  8. [adjective] taut or rigid; stretched tight; "tense piano strings"


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