ten·​ure | \ ˈten-yər also -ˌyu̇r How to pronounce tenure (audio) \

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 How to pronounce tenurable (audio) \ adjective
tenurial \ te-​ˈnyu̇r-​ē-​əl How to pronounce tenurial (audio) \ adjective
tenurially \ te-​ˈnyu̇r-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce tenurially (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for tenure


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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 The Hawks dominated the less popular Pacific League during most of Mr. Nomura’s tenure with the club, winning two championships but also losing four times to the Giants. Ken Belson, BostonGlobe.com, "Katsuya Nomura, a mainstay of Japanese baseball, dies at 84," 13 Feb. 2020 In his speech Monday, Barrett said that during his tenure, partnerships with the federal government, local health centers, doctors and schools have led to a 70% reduction in lead poisoning in Milwaukee's children. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's State of the City address highlights DNC, drop in crime," 10 Feb. 2020 Through the changes, and two months into Bowness’ tenure, which players have benefited from the coaching change and which ones have not? Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Rick Bowness’ subtle changes are noticeable after two months as Dallas Stars interim head coach," 9 Feb. 2020 While the shares lost about half of their value during his tenure, he was applauded for stabilizing the franchise. Fortune, "Credit Suisse CEO Thiam ousted after power struggle with chairman," 7 Feb. 2020 During his tenure, Katy ISD grew from 20,000 to 70,000 students, added 39 new schools, countless renovations and additions, including groundbreaking performing arts and ninthgrade centers. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Katy ISD dedicates junior high named after trustee," 5 Feb. 2020 However, Perles’ tenure also was marked with a number of ups and downs. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "George Perles, former Michigan State football coach and board member, dies at 85," 8 Jan. 2020 Sessions’ candidacy sparked new speculation about whether Trump would weigh in against Sessions because of the president’s blistering criticism during Sessions’ tenure as AG. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "Nation’s toughest abortion law tops Alabama political stories of 2019," 29 Dec. 2019 Both Democrats and Republicans noted the seven-year deal marks a new chapter in the state’s relationship with the hospitals, which was rocky under former Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s tenure. USA TODAY, "Lego impeachment, emotional support coyote, mumbo sauce: News from around our 50 states," 21 Dec. 2019

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, "possession of land under obligation to a superior, the land so held," borrowed from Anglo-French tenure, teneure, going back to Gallo-Romance *tenitūra "act of possessing," from Latin ten-, base of tenēre "to hold, possess" + -it-, generalized from past participles ending in -itus + -ūra -ure — more at tenant entry 1

Note: A number of renderings of the word in Medieval Latin from the 11th century on (as tenetura, tenatura, tentura, tenura, etc.) may reflect stages in the passage from Latin to French or attempts to Latinize a vernacular form.

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Time Traveler for tenure

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for tenure

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tenure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tenure?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=t&file=tenure01. Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce tenure (audio)

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 How to pronounce tenure (audio) \

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 How to pronounce tenurial (audio) \ adjective
tenurially \ -​ə-​lē How to pronounce tenurially (audio) \ 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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