(Tense) n. [OF. tens, properly, time, F. temps time, tense. See Temporal of time, and cf. Thing.]
(Gram.) 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 primary simple tenses are three: those which express time past, present, and future; but these
admit of modifications, which differ in different languages.
(Tense), a. [L. tensus, p. p. of tendere to stretch. See Tend to move, and cf. Toise.] Stretched
tightly; strained to stiffness; rigid; not lax; as, a tense fiber.
The temples were sunk, her forehead was tense, and a fatal paleness was upon her.Goldsmith.
Tense"ly, adv. Tense"ness, n.
(Ten`si*bil"i*ty) n. The quality or state of being tensible; tensility.
(Ten"si*ble) a. [See Tense, a.] Capable of being extended or drawn out; ductile; tensible.
Gold . . . is likewise the most flexible and tensible.Bacon.
(Ten"sile) a. [See Tense, a.]
1. Of or pertaining to extension; as, tensile strength.
2. Capable of extension; ductile; tensible. Bacon.
(Ten"siled) a. Made tensile. [R.]
(Ten*sil"i*ty) n. The quality or state of being tensile, or capable of extension; tensibility; as, the
tensility of the muscles. Dr. H. Mere.
(Ten"sion) n. [L. tensio, from tendere, tensum, to stretch: cf. F. tension. See Tense, a.]
1. The act of stretching or straining; the state of being stretched or strained to stiffness; the state of being
bent strained; as, the tension of the muscles, tension of the larynx.
2. Fig.: Extreme strain of mind or excitement of feeling; intense effort.
3. The degree of stretching to which a wire, cord, piece of timber, or the like, is strained by drawing it in
the direction of its length; strain. Gwilt.
4. (Mech.) The force by which a part is pulled when forming part of any system in equilibrium or in
motion; as, the tension of a srting supporting a weight equals that weight.
5. A device for checking the delivery of the thread in a sewing machine, so as to give the stitch the
required degree of tightness.
6. (Physics) Expansive force; the force with which the particles of a body, as a gas, tend to recede from
each other and occupy a larger space; elastic force; elasticity; as, the tension of vapor; the tension of air.
7. (Elec.) The quality in consequence of which an electric charge tends to discharge itself, as into
the air by a spark, or to pass from a body of greater to one of less electrical potential. It varies as the
quantity of electricity upon a given area.
Tension brace, or Tension member (Engin.), a brace or member designed to resist tension, or subjected
to tension, in a structure. Tension rod (Engin.), an iron rod used as a tension member to strengthen
timber or metal framework, roofs, or the like.