ten·​ure | \ ˈten-yər How to pronounce tenure (audio) 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 How to pronounce tenure (audio) \ adjective
tenurial \ te-​ˈnyu̇r-​ē-​əl How to pronounce tenure (audio) \ adjective
tenurially \ te-​ˈnyu̇r-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce tenure (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 On the other hand, at the end of its tenure, Delrahim’s team did file high-profile antitrust suits against Google and Facebook, signaling that the concentrated power of big tech companies was alarming to Republicans as well as Democrats. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Under Biden, expect more scrutiny of Big Tech and mergers," 29 Dec. 2020 But Barr also showed flashes of autonomy at the end of his tenure. Katie Benner, BostonGlobe.com, "Barr leaves a legacy defined by Trump," 29 Dec. 2020 Near the end of his tenure in Toronto, DeRozan appeared poised for a 3-point breakthrough. Jeff Mcdonald, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan re-acquaints himself with 3-point line," 27 Dec. 2020 Barr had been in lockstep with the president during much of his tenure as Trump’s attorney general. Michael Balsamo, chicagotribune.com, "Outgoing AG William Barr sees ‘no reason’ to appoint special counsel on potential election fraud or investigation into Hunter Biden," 21 Dec. 2020 Elliott also discusses how the governor is closing in on likely the biggest housing achievement of his tenure: the quick conversion of more than 6,000 hotel and motel rooms across the state into permanent housing for homeless residents. Liam Dillon Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "‘Gimme Shelter’: A conversation with Gov. Newsom’s housing advisor," 21 Dec. 2020 Barr had been in lockstep with the president during much of his tenure as Trump's attorney general. Michael Balsamo, ajc, "Barr undercuts Trump on election and Hunter Biden inquiries," 21 Dec. 2020 In 2019, Renown posted the highest revenue and net income of his tenure, and Modern Healthcare named him one of the nation’s most influential clinical executives. Sam Walker, WSJ, "After Covid Took His Father, a Hospital Boss Leans on His Wisdom," 19 Dec. 2020 At the heart of the case is a question — whether Mr. Trump and his family have profited from his public role, sometimes at the expense of taxpayers, competitors and donors — that has been a persistent theme of his tenure in the White House. Eric Lipton, New York Times, "As His Term Ends, Trump Faces More Questions on Payments to His Hotel," 7 Dec. 2020

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

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tenure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tenure. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for tenure


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