Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to tenseness: tensity, tension

tense 1

adj. tens·er, tens·est
1. Tightly stretched; taut. See Synonyms at stiff, tight.
a. In a state of nervous tension or mental strain: was very tense before the exam.
b. Causing or characterized by nervous tension or mental strain: a tense standoff between border patrols.
3. Linguistics Enunciated with taut muscles, as the sound (ē) in keen.
tr. & intr.v. tensed, tens·ing, tens·es
To make or become tense.

[Latin tēnsus, past participle of tendere, to stretch; see ten- in Indo-European roots.]

tense′ly adv.
tense′ness n.

tense 2

n. Grammar
1. A property of verbs in which the time of the action or state, as well as its continuance or completion, is indicated or expressed.
2. A category or set of verb forms that indicate or express the time, such as past, present, or future, of the action or state.

[Middle English tens, from Old French, time, from Latin tempus.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.tenseness - the physical condition of being stretched or strained; "it places great tension on the leg muscles"; "he could feel the tenseness of her body"
condition, status - a state at a particular time; "a condition (or state) of disrepair"; "the current status of the arms negotiations"
tonicity, tonus, tone - the elastic tension of living muscles, arteries, etc. that facilitate response to stimuli; "the doctor tested my tonicity"
2.tenseness - (psychology) a state of mental or emotional strain or suspense; "he suffered from fatigue and emotional tension"; "stress is a vasoconstrictor"
psychological science, psychology - the science of mental life
mental strain, nervous strain, strain - (psychology) nervousness resulting from mental stress; "his responsibilities were a constant strain"; "the mental strain of staying alert hour after hour was too much for him"
yips - nervous tension that causes an athlete to fail (especially causes golfers to miss short putts); "to avoid the yips he changed his style of putting"
breaking point - (psychology) stress at which a person breaks down or a situation becomes crucial
تَوَتُّر، إنْشِداد


[ˈtensnɪs] Ntensión f


[ˈtɛnsnɪs] n
[person] → tension f
[muscles, body] → tension f


(= tautness, of rope) → Gespanntheit f, → Straffheit f; (of muscles)(An)gespanntheit f
(of person, expression, bearing, through stress, worry etc) → Angespanntheit f; (through nervousness, fear etc) → Verkrampftheit f; (of voice)Nervosität f; (of atmosphere, situation)Gespanntheit f; (of negotiations)Spannungsgeladenheit f; (of relations)Angespanntheit f
(= excitement: of scene) → Spannung(sgeladenheit) f


[ˈtɛnsnɪs] ntensione f


(tens) adjective
1. strained; nervous. The crowd was tense with excitement; a tense situation.
2. tight; tightly stretched.
to make or become tense. He tensed his muscles.
ˈtensely adverb
ˈtenseness noun
ˈtension (-ʃən) noun
1. the state of being stretched, or the degree to which something is stretched. the tension of the rope.
2. mental strain; anxiety. She is suffering from nervous tension; the tensions of modern life.


n. tensión.
References in classic literature ?
I had felt her, it is true, trembling for nights and days together under my feet, but it was with the high-strung tenseness of her faithful courage.
There was no tenseness in her body, her arms did not go around him, and her lips met his without their wonted pressure.
The minutes passed, and slowly his tenseness relaxed.
Borckman came and stood by Van Horn's shoulder, and both men, strung to their tones in the tenseness of apprehension, strove to penetrate the surrounding blackness with their eyes, while they listened with all their ears for any message of the elements from sea and air.
Yet all three animals were keyed to a tenseness of living that was almost painful, and scarcely ever would it come to them to be more alive than they were then in their seeming petrifaction.
The tenseness of Madame de S 's stare had relaxed, and now she looked at Razumov in a silence that became disconcerting.
In spirituality, the body tends to lose or let go of its tenseness, and that's what the artist has shown in her works.
The shadows from the fireplace were dancing across the wooden walls, giving Runa a feeling of tenseness.
Its primary phonetic exponent is length, while secondary phonetic features are voicing, tenseness of articulation, intensity of burst for stops (see [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 2005).
As I work to overcome my own engine idle of tenseness, I see almost debilitating anxiety in so many people in my life.
It is characterized by high levels of negative affect such as depression, anxiety, tenseness and lack of confidence.
It was as if the whole tenseness in the room went out the window.