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 And that weakness of the renminbi has helped sustain China’s exports, which support tens of millions of Chinese jobs. Joy Dong, New York Times, 28 Nov. 2023 Over the last seven years, DCS has sent tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to companies managed by Lasting Change, which has deep political connections in Indiana. Tony Cook, ProPublica, 28 Nov. 2023 This might not be an issue for someone like Thomas, who earned tens of millions of dollars over his superlative NFL career. Adam Singer, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 The two also took tens of millions of public school dollars for their own personal use. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Nov. 2023 Citizens, based in Providence, R.I., is spending tens of millions of dollars hiring former First Republic staffers. Rachel Louise Ensign, WSJ, 26 Nov. 2023 After shedding tens of thousands of workers early on, airlines have been on a hiring spree since late 2020. David Koenig, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Nov. 2023 That was the late Nativo Lopez, a pioneering Chicano activist and Santa Ana Unified School District trustee who helped kick-start Orange County’s purple-politics transformation in the mid-1990s by registering tens of thousands of Latinos to vote. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 21 Nov. 2023 A day before the protest at the D.N.C., a pro-Israel rally drew tens of thousands to the capital, including Democratic leaders from both the House and Senate. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, 17 Nov. 2023 See More

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 6 Dec. 2023.

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



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