1. tense - verb
· become stretched or tense or taut; "the bodybuilder's neck muscles tensed"; "the rope strained when the weight was attached"
2. tense - verb
· increase the tension on; "alternately relax and tense your calf muscle"; "tense the rope manually before tensing the spring"
3. tense - verb
· become tense, nervous, or uneasy; "He tensed up when he saw his opponent enter the room"
4. tense - verb
· cause to be tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious; "he got a phone call from his lawyer that tensed him up"
5. tensed - adjective
· having inflections to indicate tense
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