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IMPERFECT. That which is incomplete.
     2. This term is applied to rights and obligations. A man has a right to be relieved by his fellow-creatures, when in distress; but this right he cannot enforce by law; hence it is called an imperfect right. On the other hand, we are bound to be grateful for favors received, but we cannot be compelled to perform such imperfect obligations. Vide Poth. Ob. arc. Preliminaire; Vattel, Dr. des Gens, Prel. notes, Sec. 17; and Obligations.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
* The terms 'imperfect tense' and 'perfect tense' should not be used to refer to the present and past tenses since these terms relate to aspect and not to tense;
Notwithstanding his translation of 10:4a as ~For Christ is the end of the law', Cranfield's interpretive paraphrase of Paul's thought in 10:14 reveals the logic of supplying the imperfect tense - and the difficulty of substituting the present, once this logic is observed:
The verb in Hebrew is 'asah (6213), "to make," (58) in the Qal imperfect tense, the form used throughout the chapter.
Coming back to Table 4, it can be seen that instead of the pluperfect, both normal children and children with SLI sometimes produced imperfect tense sentences.
What with the consistent use of the perfect (or the present) rather than the imperfect tense and with locutions like "nachgewunken," the deceptively simple or naive style is unmistakably Austrian, but the locales are not.
[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ought to mean 'she was bearing' or `she was bringing', and this suggests that 1567-9 are a description of Jocasta going to supplicate her sons, as indeed some commentators and translators have supposed.(5) The imperfect tense is more appropriate for this than for the act of supplication; it would not be impossible for the latter (`she stood/knelt there offering') but the aorist would be more likely as in all the examples above except Or.
The still lucid and perceptive discussion of the compound imperfect tense (mikarde-am) and the double compound past tense (karde bude-am) on pp.
(5) In this passage Herodotus contrasted `men' and `women' with [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [Delta][Epsilon] and he used the imperfect tenses for vividness.