Definition of ten in English:


Syllabification: ten


  • 1Equivalent to the product of five and two; one more than nine; 10: the last ten years the house comfortably sleeps ten a ten-foot shrub (Roman numeral: x, X)
    More example sentences
    • She always sleeps nine or ten hours the night before the race.
    • The food store had enough food in it to comfortably feed the five of them for ten years.
    • She can live like this another five or ten years.
  • 1.1A group or unit of ten people or things: count in tens
    More example sentences
    • Police chiefs said closing the unit would save taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds.
    • The Romans represented units, tens, hundreds, and thousands as separate items in their numbers.
    • If you apply that cost to tens of thousands of devices, you can see the impact.
    decade; Music decad, decuplet
    rare tensome
  • 1.2Ten years old: the boy was no more than ten
    More example sentences
    • They would go canoeing at a time when the children were all under the age of ten.
    • Members organised a fancy dress Hallowe'en party for children under ten years of age in the community centre.
    • The riders are all ages, some maybe under ten years of age.
  • 1.3Ten o’clock: at about ten at night, I got a call
    More example sentences
    • She works from eight o'clock in the morning to ten o'clock at night, six days a week.
    • The party started in the afternoon and continued until ten o'clock the next morning.
    • It was ten o'clock at night, but there wasn't much chance of a rest.
  • 1.4A size of garment or other merchandise denoted by ten.
    More example sentences
    • I used to be very pretty and could fit into anything that was a size ten.
    • I was attractive, a size ten and got a lot of attention.
    • I like to use a size twelve hook, though Lee prefers a size ten.
  • 1.5A ten-dollar bill: he took the money in tens
    More example sentences
    • She could tell exactly how much of that thick stack of cash was of ones, fives, tens, and hundred-dollar bills.
    • There were two one dollar bills, one five dollar bill, and two tens - plus three dollars in change.
    • I'll use one of my tens and combine our money to buy it for you!
  • 1.6A playing card with ten pips.
    More example sentences
    • The aces, tens and face cards have point values associated with them.
    • The kings of diamonds are the highest trumps instead of the tens of hearts.
    • If any of these hand cards are tens or face cards, players can discard some or all of those cards.
  • 1.7 (a ten) Used to indicate that someone has done something well; the highest mark on a scale of one to ten: I would have to give them a ten for all the work they did
    More example sentences
    • They run a page rank system where you are marked out of ten.
    • It's very difficult to get a ten.
    • I gave him a ten, but made it clear that nine points were out of pity.


be ten a penny

see penny.

ten to one

Very probably: ten to one you’ll never find out who did this
More example sentences
  • Odds are ten to one that she will be an outcast at the next meeting.
  • Ten to one, Henry will bribe them.
  • Ten to one you've had to go to the dictionary to find out what that means.


Old English tēn, tīen, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch tien and German zehn, from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit daśa, Greek deka, and Latin decem.

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