tense - definition and synonyms

noun [countable/uncountable] linguistics  /tens/
  1. the forms of a verb group indicating whether an action, event, or situation happens or exists now, before now, or in the future. In English, the verb has present and past tense forms such as ‘arrive’ and ‘arrived’. Other verb groups indicating tense or time include participles and auxiliary verbs, for example ‘are arriving’, ‘have arrived’, ‘had arrived’, and ‘will arrive’.