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TENSE. A term used in, grammar to denote the distinction of time.
     2. The acts of a court of justice ought to be in the present tense; as, "praeceptum est," not "preaceptum fuit;" but the acts of, the party may be in the preterperfect tense, as "venit, et protulit hic in curia quandum querelam suam;" and the continuances are in the preterperfect tense; as, "venerunt," not "veniunt." 1 Mod. 81.
     3. The contract of marriage should be made in language in the present tense. 6 Binn. Rep. 405. Vide 1 Saund. 393, n. 1.

References in classic literature ?
The subjunctive mood, past perfect tense of the verb `to know.
The old to-morrow habit has been superseded by "Do It To-day"; and life has become more tense, alert, vivid.
The signal rockets burst and rained their sparks through the night and vanished, and the spirit of all those watching batteries rose to a tense expecta- tion.
Brussels is the preterpluperfect tense of fashion, and Turkey is taste in its dying agonies.
For moments after that awful laugh had ceased reverberating through the rocky room, Tars Tarkas and I stood in tense and expectant silence.
For a moment tense silence reigned in the nuptial-room.
The arms and legs were so thin that there was no shape in them, and the ribs stood out so that the skin over them was tense.
It besieged with its last palpitations the tense extremities; it ended by yielding as midnight struck.
By the way, the questions were all written in the past tense.
Jim's ears were standing erect upon his head and every muscle of his big body was tense as he trotted toward home.
As I stood there, tense and silent, listening for the first faint sound that should announce the approach of my enemies, a slight noise from within the cave's black depths attracted my attention.
For an instant the King stood as tense and white as though the hand of death had reached out and touched his heart with its icy fingers.