plural tens
: a number that is one more than nine see Table of Numbers
: the 10th in a set or series
wears a ten
: something having 10 units or members
: a 10-dollar bill
: one deserving the highest rating
specifically : an exceptionally attractive person
ten adjective
ten pronoun, plural in construction

see also take ten

Examples of ten in a Sentence

“What time is it” “It's ten.” promised me that she would fix me up with a ten
Recent Examples on the Web One of the largest Obon festivals in the U.S. is held in San Jose, drawing tens of thousands of participants. Esther Sun, Sacramento Bee, 7 July 2024 That means tens of thousands of Palm Beach County residents could be affected by the results of this legal battle. Mack Bernard, Sun Sentinel, 7 July 2024 This, combined with bloody street fights, left tens of thousands of civilians dead. Laura Moserb, Travel + Leisure, 6 July 2024 His office holds weekly meetings with RNC officials to make sure the event, which will bring tens of thousands of visitors and a large financial windfall, goes smoothly. David Sivak, Washington Examiner - Political News and Conservative Analysis About Congress, the President, and the Federal Government, 6 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for ten 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ten.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, going back to Old English tīen (West Saxon), tēn, going back to Germanic *tehun (whence also Old Frisian tiān, tiēn "ten," Old Saxon tehan, Old High German zehan, Old Norse tíu, Gothic taihun), going back to Indo-European *deḱm̥, whence also Old Irish deich "ten," Welsh deg, Latin decem, Old Church Slavic desętĭ, Lithuanian dẽšimt, Albanian dhjetë, Greek déka, Armenian tasn, Tocharian A śäk, Tocharian B śak, Avestan dasa, Sanskrit daśa

Note: The Slavic, Baltic, and perhaps Albanian forms are derived from the ordinal base *deḱm̥-t-.

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ten was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near ten

Cite this Entry

“Ten.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a number that is one more than nine see number
: the tenth in a set or series
the ten of hearts
: something having ten units or members
: a 10-dollar bill
ten adjective or pronoun

Medical Definition



More from Merriam-Webster on ten

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