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 During his tenure, the market has closed a handful of times — after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, and Superstorm Sandy. NBC News, "Silence on Wall Street: New York Stock Exchange prepares for all-electronic trading," 23 Mar. 2020 Online sales growth picked up speed during her tenure, hitting 20.6% in her last full quarter there from 6.8% in her first. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Exit Interview: What Helena Foulkes learned about retail and leadership as CEO of HBC," 23 Mar. 2020 Also during his tenure, EDPA created its Buildings and Sites database, began the imerge Innovation Conference, and saw the development of Alabama Launchpad (ALP), the state’s early-stage seed fund. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, "EDPA President Steve Spencer announces retirement," 20 Mar. 2020 During her tenure Buchholz helped magazine readers and website viewers set 10 Guinness World Records. National Geographic, "Rachel Buchholz," 18 Mar. 2020 But during her tenure, the F-35 program, the most expensive procurement in the history of the Pentagon, suffered through a series of problems before eventually stabilizing, as prices came down and the company regained the trust of defense officials. Christian Davenport, Washington Post, "Lockheed Martin CEO will step down," 16 Mar. 2020 But during her tenure, the F-35 program, the most expensive procurement in the history of the Pentagon, suffered through a series of problems before eventually stabilizing, as prices came down and the company regained the trust of defense officials. Dallas News, "Lockheed Martin CEO Marilyn Hewson steps aside, successor comes from outside company," 16 Mar. 2020 Putin has faced a number of international crises during his tenure. Fox News, "Russian lawmakers approve changes to let Putin stay in power until 2036," 12 Mar. 2020 Putin has weathered multiple international storms during his tenure. Daria Litvinova, BostonGlobe.com, "Russian lawmakers move to keep Putin in power past 2024," 11 Mar. 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

30 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tenure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tenure. Accessed 4 Apr. 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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