noun, often attributive
ten·​nis | \ ˈte-nəs How to pronounce tennis (audio) \

Definition of tennis

1 : an indoor or outdoor game that is played with rackets and a light elastic ball by two players or pairs of players on a level court (as of clay or grass) divided by a low net

Examples of tennis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Activities include tennis, soccer, pétanque, and golf instruction (one hour) as well as golf green fees. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 8 June 2022 Concept 017 highlights fifteen additional performance and lifestyle brands that span golf, tennis, running and more, and will be available online and in thirteen stores through the end of July. Sara Klausing, Men's Health, 8 June 2022 Plus, people are actually playing tennis, pickleball, and racquetball again. Arden Fanning Andrews, Vogue, 8 June 2022 The sports include: basketball, bocce, bowling, cheerleading, equestrian, flag football, golf, gymnastics, swimming, soccer, softball, surfing, tennis, volleyball and a triathlon. Jason Beede, Orlando Sentinel, 7 June 2022 Others to be inducted June 24 at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs include Lindsey Vonn (alpine skiing), Michelle Kwan (figure skating), Mia Hamm (soccer), Billie Jean King (tennis) and the late Pat Summitt (basketball). San Francisco Chronicle, 6 June 2022 This was just after Gauff, the 18-year-old from Delray Beach, lost in the tournament finals to the new power in women’s tennis, Iga Swiatek, 6-1, 6-3. Dave Hyde, Sun Sentinel, 4 June 2022 People will be able to place wagers on professional sports teams, motor sports, Olympic events, golf and tennis, and major college sports such as football and basketball. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 2 June 2022 Rosary offers cross country, competitive cheerleading, basketball, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field and volleyball. Chicago Tribune, 1 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of tennis

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for tennis

Middle English tenetz, tenys, perhaps borrowed from Anglo-French tenez, 2nd person plural imperative of tenir "to hold" — more at tenant entry 1

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Time Traveler for tennis

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near tennis



tennis ball

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Statistics for tennis

Last Updated

12 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tennis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for tennis


ten·​nis | \ ˈte-nəs How to pronounce tennis (audio) \

Kids Definition of tennis

: a game played on a level court by two or four players who use rackets to hit a ball back and forth across a low net dividing the court

More from Merriam-Webster on tennis

Nglish: Translation of tennis for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tennis for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about tennis


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