tense up


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tense up (for something)

to become tense, anxious, and ready for something. Liz tensed up for the game and was very nervous. He tensed up and that made it hard to give him the injection he needed.
See also: up

tense up

v.
1. To become tense: The deer tensed up when it heard my footsteps.
2. To make something tense: I tensed up my wrist just before making contact with the ball. The muscle in my calf hurts whenever I tense it up.
See also: up