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

Buy Photo On a frigid January evening in 2016, just two weeks into Mayor Kenney’s tenure, a historic, 19th century apartment house off Rittenhouse Square erupted in a gusher of flame and smoke. Inga Saffron, Philly.com, "A tale of two historic Philadelphia buildings: One rises from the ashes. The other falls to the wrecking ball.," 12 July 2018 Wollschlager, who is still a commander at the village, and Martinez are among only a few officers still left on the Biscayne Park force from Atesiano’s tenure. Charles Rabin, Jay Weaver And David Ovalle, miamiherald, "The chief wanted perfect stats, so cops were told to pin crimes on blacks, probe found," 12 July 2018 Image Eighteen months into Jared Kushner’s White House tenure, his family’s real estate firm is deepening its financial relationships with institutions and individuals that have a lot riding on decisions made by the federal government. New York Times, "Kushner’s Firm Deepens Ties to Those With Business in Washington," 11 July 2018 Her future may depend on the health of current SCOTUS justices, Trump’s tenure in the White House, and the GOP’s ability to hang onto the Senate. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Amy Coney Barrett Looks Like a Future Trump SCOTUS Pick," 11 July 2018 At Rose-Hulman, which became a coeducational institution in 1995, women make up 24.7 percent of the college's 2,146 students and 23 percent of STEM tenured or tenure-track faculty, according to school data. Billy Kobin, Indianapolis Star, "Rose-Hulman professor hopes to get more girls in STEM by studying the Irish," 10 July 2018 In this case, that included the Union-Tribune’s coverage of Marten’s tenure as superintendent, as well as her time as principal at Central Elementary, a school in City Heights. Peter Rowe, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Back story: Cindy Marten, a school superintendent carrying a heavy load," 8 July 2018 Spurs legend Tony Parker’s tenure in San Antonio has come to a close. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "Grades: Spurs Legend Tony Parker Leaving San Antonio for Charlotte," 6 July 2018 In Chris Klieman’s tenure as head coach the past four years, the Bison have won the national title three times and reached the FCS semifinals once. Rick Armstrong, Aurora Beacon-News, "Metea Valley's Julian Wlodarczyk finds good fit with FCS national champ North Dakota State," 1 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

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

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Statistics for tenure

Last Updated

1 Sep 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

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Comments on tenure

What made you want to look up tenure? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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