from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act, fact, or condition of holding something in one's possession, as real estate or an office; occupation.
  • n. A period during which something is held.
  • n. The status of holding one's position on a permanent basis without periodic contract renewals: a teacher granted tenure on a faculty.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A status of possessing a thing or an office; an incumbency.
  • n. A period of time during which it is possessed.
  • n. A status of having a permanent post with enhanced job security within an academic institution.
  • n. A right to hold land under the feudal system.
  • v. To grant tenure, the status of having a permanent academic position, to (someone).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or right of holding, as property, especially real estate.
  • n. The manner of holding lands and tenements of a superior.
  • n. The consideration, condition, or service which the occupier of land gives to his lord or superior for the use of his land.
  • n. Manner of holding, in general.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The nature of the right or title by which property, especially real property, is held; also, the property so held. ; ;
  • n. The consideration or service which the occupier of land pays to his lord or superior for the use of his land, or the condition on which he holds it.
  • n. Holding, or manner of holding, in general; the terms or conditions on which, or the period during which, anything is held.
  • n. Quality with respect to proportion of ingredients.
  • n. An act of 1867 (14 Stat. 430; Rev. Stat. § 1767 et seq.), providing that persons appointed to civil offices by the President, and confirmed by the Senate, excepting members of the cabinet, shall hold such offices until their successors are qualified, subject to suspension by the, President, during the recess of the Senate, for misconduct; and that they can be removed only with the consent of the Senate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. give life-time employment to
  • n. the right to hold property; part of an ancient hierarchical system of holding lands
  • n. the term during which some position is held


Middle English, from Old French teneure, from tenir, to hold, from Latin tenēre, to hold; see ten- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman, from Old French teneure, from Vulgar Latin *tenitura, from *tenit(us), from Latin tentus (from teneō) + -ura. (Wiktionary)



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