tense with=tense because of?

thetazuo

Senior Member
Chinese - China
On the morning of Sunday 20 April 1920, in a city tense with Jewish and Christian pilgrims, 60,000 Arabs gathered for the Nabi Musa festival, led by the Husseinis.

Excerpt From
Jerusalem
Simon Sebag Montefiore
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Hi. Does the “with” in bold mean “because of”?
Thank you.
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hi. Does the “with” in bold mean “because of”?
    Not really, although there is probably an element of "because of" here. The city was tense and the city was filled with the various groups of people. It is the same use as "He was tense with excitement".
     

    thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Thank you. I also think it’s the same use as “He was tense with excitement”, as shown in sense 6 at here.
    But you seem to think there is more to it than just “because of” in terms of its meaning when used this way. You think this kind of usage of “with” has combined two meanings together: 1) because of, 2) filled with. Right?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I actually think it's a misuse. It's not tense with people. It's tense with some sort of simmering conflict or disagreement between people.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I agree -- it is a misuse of "tense with".

    I don't understand why the presence of both Jewish and Christian pilgrims would cause a city to be "tense". Those groups are not in conflict with each others. If it was Jewish and Muslim pilgrims, I would understand the meaning (but still consider "tense with" bad wording), since Jews and Muslims are traditional enemies.
     
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