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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 ?
White and livid was his tense drawn face, but he spoke no word.
The subjunctive mood, past perfect tense of the verb `to know.
Oh, it is the saddest tense," sighed Rebecca with a little break in her voice; "nothing but IFS, IFS, IFS
The muscles of his body were tense, and as he moved about she could see them bunch up and writhe and crawl like live things under the white skin.
So tense was he, so bent upon the work he had to do, that the sweat stung his eyes unwiped, and unheeded rolled down his nose and spattered his saddle pommel.
The tense thread of human resolution snapped; wills and nerves broke down, and a hundred women suspended their irons or dropped them.
It was tense and hoarse with an overmastering rage.
The content expressed in words is best represented by the words "the existence of this," since these words do not involve tense, which belongs to the belief-feeling, not to the content.
Struck in mid-air, a trifle of a flying machine, all its delicate gears tangled and disrupted, Cocky fell to the floor in a shower of white feathers, which, like snowflakes, eddied slowly down after, and after the plummet-like descent of the cat, so that some of them came to rest on her back, startling her tense nerves with their gentle impact and making her crouch closer while she shot a swift glance around and overhead for any danger that might threaten.
Erzya non-verbal predicates may display the same amount of behavioural potential (inflectional person and tense marking) as verbal predicates.
First is the rule of the perfect tense situated in the structure of the passive tense.
It discusses grammarians of the time, including Smith and James Harris; the convergence of moral philosophy with economic and political discourse and the use of the present simple in assertions about the unchanging human nature in the domain of commerce and other social actions; the use of the past tense in historical discourse; how the continuum of historical progress at the level of society or nations is constructed using the present perfect to establish a continuous and enduring state from the past to the present; and the use of the present simple to set up a normative or ideal pattern of economic interaction, along with the future tense predicting the movement of the pattern.