Definitions for "Tense"
One of the forms which a verb takes by inflection or by adding auxiliary words, so as to indicate the time of the action or event signified; the modification which verbs undergo for the indication of time.
The form of the verb that denotes time. Inflection of single-word verbs (pay, paid) and the use of auxiliaries (am paid, was paid, will pay) indicate tense.
A change in the form of a verb which indicates the time-reference of that verb: They laugh (indicates present), They laughed (indicates past). When a verb expresses tense it is finite (and if it doesn't it is non-finite).
Keywords:  taut, lax, vowel, strain, stretch
Stretched tightly; strained to stiffness; rigid; not lax; as, a tense fiber.
The term tense refers to a feature of vowels that has been argued to stem from a number of articulatory mechanisms. One such mechanism is the tensing of the articulators. Another possible mechanism is the advanced position of the tongue root during production of the vowel. In English, some tense vowels are the vowels /i/,/e/,/u/, and /o/, as in meet, mate, moot, and mote. In English, these particular tense vowels are produced with an offglide, or secondary vowel articulation. Therefore, the tense vowels in English would be pronounced /iy/, /ey/, /uw/, and /ow/. The complementary feature of tense is lax.
stretch or force to the limit; "strain the rope"
Keywords:  anxious, uneasy, nervous, physical
make tense and uneasy or nervous or anxious;
in or of a state of physical or nervous tension
Keywords:  saw, opponent, room, enter, his
become tense or tenser; "He tensed up when he saw his opponent enter the room"
Keywords:  rope, increase
increase the tension on; "tense a rope"