tense or tightly drawn
taut - rigid
The word ‘taut’ essentially refers to something that is rigid and firm, but the term is highly versatile with both positive and negative connotations. It can be used in relation to an expression, a verbal response, both a person’s physical and mental state, and something free from unnecessary content or information.
I could see that John was totally focused on the task he was performing. His face was taut with concentration.
Judging by the tautness of her muscles, Jane is in excellent shape. She clearly works out a lot.
The movie was fast-paced and free from any superfluity. It was a very taut thriller.
The athlete was in no mood to speak to journalists after the loss, judging by the tautness of her responses.