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 Only Vancouver Canucks head coach Travis Green, one of Tocchet's closest friends, rivals Tocchet in tenure among bench bosses in the Pacific Division. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "Rick Tocchet replacing Gerard Gallant as Pacific Division coach for NHL All-Star Weekend," 16 Jan. 2020 Mark Bonchek, a 1982 Nicolet graduate, filed the original complaint a year after findings from a private investigation confirmed now deceased math teacher David Johnson had molested at least two boys during his more than 30-year tenure at Nicolet. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former Nicolet student says the school broke an NDA by identifying him as a victim of a teacher's sexual abuse," 16 Jan. 2020 In the face of growing urban protest and declining support for his regime’s policies, any political reforms that prolong Putin’s tenure are risky. Regina Smyth, The Conversation, "Russia’s cabinet resigns and it’s all part of Putin’s plan," 16 Jan. 2020 But those sales have slumped during President Donald Trump's tenure as fears of such restrictions eased. Chris Isidore, CNN, "Smith & Wesson's parent company dumps CEO," 16 Jan. 2020 Resignation: Heather Hiles, chief executive of California’s new online community college, is out after an 11-month tenure marked by controversy and complaints. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: One eviction echoes loudly in Oakland," 15 Jan. 2020 Criss Beyers took over a Warren Central program in 2015 and quickly built the Warriors into an undefeated state champion in his third season, compiling a ridiculous 78-6 record over his final three seasons of a four-year tenure. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Does that style look familiar? Franklin Central getting it done on defensive end," 15 Jan. 2020 Besides the competitive drama, the tournament has turned into a celebration of the skills and long-running tenure of Trebek, who is battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Bill Keveney And Susan Haas, USA TODAY, "'Jeopardy!: The Greatest of All-Time' crowns Ken Jennings winner," 15 Jan. 2020 No evidence has emerged that Hunter or Joe Biden broke any U.S. or Ukrainian laws in relation to Hunter's tenure on the Burisma board. Jordan Freiman, CBS News, "Russians hacked Burisma, the Ukrainian firm connected to the impeachment inquiry," 14 Jan. 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

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tenure.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tenures. Accessed 24 January 2020.

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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 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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Comments on tenure

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a feeling of well-being or elation

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