TENSE: Synonyms and Related Words. What is Another Word for TENSE?

Need another word that means the same as “tense”? Find 51 synonyms and 30 related words for “tense” in this overview.

The synonyms of “Tense” are: taut, stretched tight, tight, rigid, stretched, strained, stiff, anxious, nervous, edgy, stressed, under a strain, under pressure, agitated, ill at ease, unrelaxed, in a state of nerves, in a state of agitation, fretful, uneasy, restless, worked up, keyed up, overwrought, wrought up, strung out, jumpy, fidgety, worried, apprehensive, upset, disturbed, panicky, nerve-racking, stressful, worrying, concerning, fraught, charged, nail-biting, worrisome, difficult, uncomfortable, strain, tense up, tighten, tauten, flex, contract, brace, stiffen

Tense as a Verb

Definitions of "Tense" as a verb

According to the Oxford Dictionary of English, “tense” as a verb can have the following definitions:

  • Become tense, typically through anxiety or nervousness.
  • Make (a muscle or one's body) tight or rigid.
  • Cause to be tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious.
  • Increase the tension on.
  • Become tense, nervous, or uneasy.
  • Become stretched or tense or taut.

Synonyms of "Tense" as a verb (8 Words)

braceSupport or hold steady and make steadfast with or as if with a brace.
He stood with legs braced.
contractEnter into a contractual arrangement.
Plans to encourage people to contract out of the pension scheme.
flexExhibit the strength of.
The talks were seen as a way for Merkel to flex her well known diplomatic prowess.
stiffenBecome stiff or stiffer.
The regime s resistance stiffened.
strainRub through a strainer or process in an electric blender.
She strained the infant to her bosom again.
tautenBecome taut or tauter.
Tauten a rope.
tense upBecome stretched or tense or taut.
tightenBecome tight or tighter.
The rope tightened.

Usage Examples of "Tense" as a verb

  • He got a phone call from his lawyer that tensed him up.
  • Alternately relax and tense your calf muscle.
  • The bodybuilder's neck muscles tensed.
  • Her body tensed up.
  • Tense the rope manually before tensing the spring.
  • He tensed up when he saw his opponent enter the room.
  • Carefully stretch and then tense your muscles.

Tense as an Adjective

Definitions of "Tense" as an adjective

According to the Oxford Dictionary of English, “tense” as an adjective can have the following definitions:

  • In or of a state of physical or nervous tension.
  • Pronounced with relatively tense tongue muscles (e.g., the vowel sound in `beat.
  • Taut or rigid; stretched tight.
  • (of a speech sound, especially a vowel) pronounced with the vocal muscles stretched tight.
  • (especially of a muscle) stretched tight or rigid.
  • Causing or characterized by anxiety and nervousness.
  • Unable to relax because of nervousness, anxiety, or stimulation.

Synonyms of "Tense" as an adjective (43 Words)

agitatedPhysically disturbed or set in motion.
The agitated mixture foamed and bubbled.
anxious(of a situation or period of time) causing or characterized by worry or nervousness.
Spent an anxious night waiting for the test results.
apprehensiveIn fear or dread of possible evil or harm.
Apprehensive for one s life.
chargedOf a particle or body or system; having a net amount of positive or negative electric charge.
The highly charged issue of abortion.
concerningCausing anxiety; worrying.
A concerning breach of security.
difficult(of a person) not easy to please or satisfy; awkward.
Nesting places on the cliffs are difficult of access.
disturbedHaving or resulting from emotional and mental problems.
The treatment of disturbed children.
edgy(of a musical performance or piece of writing) having an intense or sharp quality.
He became edgy and defensive.
fidgetyNervous and unable to relax.
I get nervous and fidgety at the dentist.
fraughtCausing or affected by anxiety or stress.
Words fraught with meaning.
fretfulHabitually complaining.
The baby was crying with a fretful whimper.
ill at easeResulting in suffering or adversity.
in a state of agitationCurrently fashionable.
in a state of nervesHolding office.
jumpyBeing in a tense state.
A jumpy pulse.
keyed upServing as an essential component.
nail-bitingCharacterized by or causing suspense.
nerve-rackingExtremely irritating to the nerves.
nervousOf or relating to the nervous system.
Staying in the house on her own made her nervous.
overwroughtIn a state of nervous excitement or anxiety.
A pseudo Gothic church far too overwrought for such a small town.
panickyThrown into a state of intense fear or desperation.
I started to feel panicky and breathless.
restlessWorried and uneasy.
A restless night.
rigidIncapable of adapting or changing to meet circumstances.
Rigid bureaucratic controls.
A stiff measure of brandy.
strainedOf a mainly liquid substance having been strained to separate out any solid matter.
A strained smile.
stressedStrengthened by the application of stress during manufacture prestressed.
An iambic foot consists of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable as in delay.
stressfulCausing mental or emotional stress.
Corporate finance work can be stressful.
stretchedExtended or spread over a wide area or distance.
Broad fields lay stretched on both sides of us.
stretched tightExtended or spread over a wide area or distance.
strung outThat is on a string.
tautStretched or pulled tight; not slack.
The fabric stays taut without adhesive.
tightOf a community or other group of people having close relations tight knit.
It was a tight squeeze in the tiny vestibule.
uncomfortableProviding or experiencing physical discomfort.
An uncomfortable way of surprising me just when I felt surest.
under a strainLower in rank, power, or authority.
under pressureLocated below or beneath something else.
uneasyCausing or feeling anxiety; troubled or uncomfortable.
An uneasy silence fell on the group.
His life was drawing to a close in baffled zeal and unrelaxed strain.
upsetThrown into a state of disarray or confusion.
An upset stomach.
worked upOpen.
worriedAnxious or troubled about actual or potential problems.
Not used to a city and worried about small things.
worrisomeCausing distress or worry or anxiety.
In a particularly worrisome predicament.
worryingCausing anxiety about actual or potential problems; alarming.
A worrying time.
wrought upShaped to fit by or as if by altering the contours of a pliable mass (as by work or effort.

Usage Examples of "Tense" as an adjective

  • Tense piano strings.
  • He was tense with excitement.
  • She tried to relax her tense muscles.
  • Relations between the two neighbouring states were tense.
  • They waited in tense silence.

Associations of "Tense" (30 Words)

apprehensiveRelating to perception or understanding.
Apprehensive about her job.
arousedEmotionally aroused.
The aroused opposition.
complainingExpressing pain or dissatisfaction of resentment.
A complaining boss.
constrainedLacking spontaneity; not natural.
A constrained smile.
constrictedEspecially tense; especially in some dialects.
Constricted air passages.
cranky(of a machine) working erratically.
He was cranky after eight hours of working.
defuseMake (a situation) less tense or dangerous.
A scheme that teaches officers how to defuse potentially explosive situations.
excitabilityExcessive sensitivity of an organ or body part.
fractiousUnpredictably difficult in operation; likely to be troublesome.
Fractious components of a communication system.
fretProvide a musical instrument with frets.
His absence during her times awake began to fret her.
fretfulFeeling or expressing distress or irritation.
The baby was crying with a fretful whimper.
harassmentA feeling of intense annoyance caused by being tormented.
They face daily harassment and assault on the streets.
harriedFeeling strained as a result of having demands persistently made on one; harassed.
Harried detectives answer ringing phones.
irritabilityAn irritable petulant feeling.
Symptoms include insomnia and irritability.
jitteryNervous or unable to relax.
Caffeine makes me jittery.
nervousOf or relating to the nervous system.
Nervous disease.
nervouslyWith nervous excitement.
Kevin nervously glanced at his watch.
nervyCharacterized or produced by apprehension or uncertainty.
The nervy feats of mountaineers.
peevishEasily irritated or annoyed.
A thin peevish voice.
petulanceAn irritable petulant feeling.
A slight degree of petulance had crept into his voice.
petulant(of a person or their manner) childishly sulky or bad-tempered.
A petulant shake of the head.
querulousComplaining in a rather petulant or whining manner.
She became querulous and demanding.
sensitizeMake sensitive to a drug or allergen.
The kit sensitizes any 35 mm film in hours.
skittish(of a person) playfully frivolous or unpredictable.
A skittish chestnut mare.
strainedOf a mainly liquid substance having been strained to separate out any solid matter.
A constrained smile.
testyEasily irritated or annoyed.
His testy disapproving father.
troubledCharacterized by unrest or disorder or insubordination.
Troubled areas.
uneasyLacking a sense of security or affording no ease or reassurance.
Gave an uneasy laugh.
uptightAnxious or angry in a tense and overly controlled way.
He is so uptight about everything.

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