ten·​ure | \ˈten-yər also -ˌyu̇r \

Definition of tenure 

1 : the act, right, manner, or term of holding something (such as a landed property, a position, or an office) especially : a status granted after a trial period to a teacher that gives protection from summary dismissal

2 : grasp, hold

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Other Words from tenure

tenurable \ˈten-​yər-​ə-​bəl \ adjective
tenurial \te-​ˈnyu̇r-​ē-​əl \ adjective
tenurially \te-​ˈnyu̇r-​ē-​ə-​lē \ adverb

Synonyms for tenure


hitch, stint, term, tour

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Examples of tenure in a Sentence

… but there is also about it just the trace of the nettlesome righteousness that alienated much of Washington during his tenure there, the not-so-subtle suggestion that while he might be in politics, he is not of politics and certainly not, God_forbid, a politician. — Jim Wooten, New York Times Magazine, 29 Jan. 1995 Pittsburgh's offensive linemen, trap blockers during Noll's tenure, had to bulk up for the straight-ahead game. — Paul Zimmerman, Sports Illustrated, 9 Nov. 1992 A mural on the upper half of a four-story guesthouse was painted in 1977 by twelve-year-old schoolchildren, whose tenure on the scaffold must have thrilled their parents. — John McPhee, New Yorker, 22 Feb. 1988 During his tenure as head coach, the team won the championship twice. her 12-year tenure with the company His tenure in office will end with the next election. After seven years I was finally granted tenure. He hopes to get tenure next year. The defendant did not have tenure on the land. land tenure in Anglo-Saxon Britain
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Recent Examples on the Web

Kelly has had a number of high-profile conflicts during his tenure as chief of staff, including with Anthony Scaramucci, Bolton, and Corey Lewandowski, among others. Aaron Rupar, Vox, "Melania Trump publicly demanded a top NSC aide’s firing — and reportedly got it," 13 Nov. 2018 Fans of Dior posted emotional Instagram posts, square after square of frothy floral ball gowns, playfully proportioned separates, and modern suits that became his signature during his tenure. Elizabeth Raiss, refinery29.com, "Why Do We Treat A Fashion Designer Leaving A Brand Like Someone Dying?," 14 June 2018 During his tenure as sheriff of Maricopa County, Arpaio housed inmates on 7 acres of tents, exposing them to the sweltering Arizona heat. Anne Branigin, The Root, "Trump Administration Considers ‘Tent Cities’ to House Thousands of Unaccompanied Migrant Children," 13 June 2018 Most of those Clinton references – more than 600 – came in the run-up to the 2016 election, and nearly all were comments critical of Clinton’s tenure, including her email scandal or possible ethical conflicts surrounding the Clinton Foundation. Shawn Boburg, The Seattle Times, "Conservative nonprofit with obscure roots, undisclosed funders paid Whitaker $1.2 million," 20 Nov. 2018 While the program has consistently set high academic marks during Mason’s tenure, the performance on the field has put the 44-year-old’s future in doubt. Matt Murschel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Five college football coaches on the hot seat entering the 2018 season," 28 June 2018 Branstad served as lieutenant governor during Ray’s tenure and was named by Trump as U.S. ambassador to China. Washington Post, "Former Iowa Gov. Ray’s legacy contrasts with modern GOP," 13 July 2018 Poway Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7907’s new commander, William Morrison, is looking to increase the VFW’s membership, partnerships with the community and visibility during his tenure. Emily Sorensen, Pomerado News, "New VFW Post 7907 commander wants to connect with the community," 12 July 2018 Former Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, one of the more popular players during his tenure with the team from 2010-2016, endured a nightmarish 11th inning for the Oakland Athletics Tuesday in his team's 6-5 loss to Houston. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy fumbles ball in bizarre walk-off loss to Houston," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tenure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tenure

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tenure

Middle English, from Anglo-French teneure, tenure, from Medieval Latin tenitura, from Vulgar Latin *tenitus, past participle of Latin tenēre to hold — more at thin

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Statistics for tenure

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for tenure

The first known use of tenure was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for tenure



English Language Learners Definition of tenure

: the amount of time that a person holds a job, office, or title

: the right to keep a job (especially the job of being a professor at a college or university) for as long as you want to have it

law : the right to use property


ten·​ure | \ˈten-yər \

Legal Definition of tenure 

1 : the act, manner, duration, or right of holding something tenure of office specifically : the manner of holding real property : the title and conditions by which property is held freehold tenure

2 : a status granted to a teacher usually after a probationary period that protects him or her from dismissal except for reasons of incompetence, gross misconduct, or financial necessity

Other Words from tenure

tenurial \te-​ˈnyu̇r-​ē-​əl \ adjective
tenurially \-​ə-​lē \ adverb

History and Etymology for tenure

Anglo-French, feudal holding, from Old French teneüre, from Medieval Latin tenitura, ultimately from Latin tenēre to hold

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More from Merriam-Webster on tenure

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tenure

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tenure

Spanish Central: Translation of tenure

Nglish: Translation of tenure for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tenure for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tenure

Comments on tenure

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to enclose within walls

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