Definition of tenure in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtenyər/


1The conditions under which land or buildings are held or occupied.
Example sentences
  • But without exception, these big operations use leased land, with tenures typically of two to five years.
  • The stability of the system is indicated by the fact that long-term leases for a life or for several lives were common, and that these long-term grants tended to turn into hereditary tenures.
  • Much of the country was still held in multiple tenures - infield and outfield, with the remainder still held as ‘commonties’ by the local community.
2The holding of an office: his tenure of the premiership would be threatened
More example sentences
  • During his tenure, the university experienced its most expansive period of growth.
  • During his tenure at Oxford University, he belonged to a group called the inklings, which also included the author C.S. Lewis.
  • During the president's tenure in office, he's built an impressive record.
2.1A period for which an office is held.
Example sentences
  • To make matters worse, most cabinet officials have rather short tenures in office.
  • These single teachers taught an average of 12 years, raising the average tenure of teachers.
  • Humphries, at the request of the board, has already extended his tenure at the university at least twice this year.
3Guaranteed permanent employment, especially as a teacher or professor, after a probationary period.
Example sentences
  • College/university music teachers have tenure, rank and their employer's standards that provide professional status for them.
  • University teachers have lost tenure and the quality of their teaching and research is regularly assessed by independent bodies.
  • Newly divorced and up for tenure at Washington State University, she was faced with trying to eke out a living for herself and her two daughters on an assistant professor's salary.


[with object]
1Give (someone) a permanent post, especially as a teacher or professor: I had recently been tenured and then promoted to full professor
More example sentences
  • And we question the justness of tenuring him, certainly of the size of his salary and administrative reach.
  • If her take on hiring practices is right, Emory isn't going to be tenuring anyone in this area of interest anytime soon.
  • Buchanan was driven out in part by not tenuring his junior colleagues.
1.1 (as adjective tenured) Having or denoting a permanent post, especially as a teacher or professor: a tenured faculty member
More example sentences
  • Well, I am a biblical scholar - complete with tenured academic post - and I think your analysis is convincing.
  • Tenured faculty were facing retirement without the assurance that new generations of tenured academic citizens would take their places.
  • Publication success is often a key factor in deciding whether an academic wins research grants or is offered a tenured post at a university.


Late Middle English: from Old French, from tenir 'to hold', from Latin tenere.

Words that rhyme with tenure

Kenya, Mantegna, Sardegna

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ten·ure

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