Share this entry

Share this page

tense

Synonyms of tense in English:

adjective

  • 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
    informal with butterflies in one's stomach, a bundle of nerves, jittery, twitchy, in a state, uptight, wired, het up, stressed out, white-knuckled
    British informal strung up, stressy, windy
    North American informal spooky, squirrelly
    Australian/New Zealand informal toey
    dated overstrung
    [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
    informal hairy, anxious-making, white-knuckle
    [Antonyms] relaxing
  • verb

    Back to top  
  • 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:

    Share this entry

    Share this page

     

    What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

    Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

    Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

    Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

    Word of the day cumbersome
    Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
    adjective
    large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…