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Synonyms of tense in English:


  • 1 the tense muscles of his neck
    taut, stretched tight, tight, rigid, stretched, strained, stiff
    [Antonyms] slack, loose
  • 2 by five o'clock, Loretta was feeling tense and irritable
    anxious, nervous, on edge, edgy, strained, 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, highly strung, wrought up, strung out, jumpy, on tenterhooks, on pins and needles, with one's stomach in knots, fidgety, worried, apprehensive, upset, disturbed, panicky;
    British nervy
    informalwith butterflies in one's stomach, a bundle of nerves, jittery, twitchy, in a state, uptight, wired, het up, stressed out, white-knuckled
    British informalstrung up, stressy, windy
    North American informalspooky, squirrelly
    Australian/New Zealand informaltoey
    [Antonyms] calm, cool, relaxed
  • 3 it was a tense moment for everyone
    nerve-racking, stressful, anxious, worrying, concerning, fraught, charged, strained, nail-biting, worrisome, difficult, uneasy, uncomfortable;
    exciting, cliffhanging, knife-edge, dramatic, volatile, explosive
    informalhairy, anxious-making, white-knuckle
    [Antonyms] relaxing
  • verb

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  • Hebden tensed his cheek muscles
    tighten, tauten, tense up, flex, contract, brace, stiffen;
    screw up, knot, strain, stretch;
    North American squinch up
    [Antonyms] relax
  • Definition of tense in:

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