SKIP TO CONTENT

tenure

Take the noun tenure for the period of time a person holds a position or office. Your tenure as a student ends when you graduate high school — unless, of course, you go on to college.

Tenure from the Latin tenere means "to hold" and refers to the period of time a person works at a particular job or in an office. A president might have to deal with a recession during his tenure in the White House. In university jargon, if you have tenure, you have a permanent teaching position or professorship. In this sense, tenure can also be used as a verb. You've got it made if you're tenured at age 29.

Definitions of tenure
  1. noun
    the term during which some position is held
    synonyms: incumbency, term of office
    see moresee less
    types:
    administration, presidency, presidential term
    the tenure of a president
    vice-presidency, vice-presidential term
    the tenure of a vice president
    episcopate
    the term of office of a bishop
    type of:
    term
    a limited period of time
  2. noun
    the right to keep a job permanently, especially a teaching job
    see moresee less
    type of:
    position, status
    the relative position or standing of things or especially persons in a society
  3. noun
    the right to hold property; part of an ancient hierarchical system of holding lands
    synonyms: land tenure
    see moresee less
    types:
    copyhold
    a medieval form of land tenure in England; a copyhold was a parcel of land granted to a peasant by the lord of the manor in return for agricultural services
    freehold
    tenure by which land is held in fee simple or for life
    villeinage
    tenure by which a villein held land
    type of:
    legal right
    a right based in law
  4. verb
    give life-time employment to
    “She was tenured after she published her book”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    advance, elevate, kick upstairs, promote, raise, upgrade
    give a promotion to or assign to a higher position
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week