Why was clemency trending last week?


[ten-yer] /ˈtɛn yər/
the holding or possessing of anything:
the tenure of an office.
the holding of property, especially real property, of a superior in return for services to be rendered.
the period or term of holding something.
status granted to an employee, usually after a probationary period, indicating that the position or employment is permanent.
verb (used with object)
to give tenure to:
After she served three years on probation, the committee tenured her.
Origin of tenure
1250-1300; Middle English < Anglo-French; Old French teneure < Vulgar Latin *tenitura, equivalent to *tenit(us) held (for Latin tentus, past participle of tenēre) + -ura -ure
Related forms
[ten-yoo r-ee-uh l] /tɛnˈyʊər i əl/ (Show IPA),
tenurially, adverb
nontenurial, adjective
nontenurially, adverb
undertenure, noun
Can be confused
tender, tenor, tenure. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tenure
  • They had no violent feudal tenure, but the husbandman owned the land.
  • Lands held by a noble tenure, at thirty-eight and one-third per cent.
  • During his tenure, the organization has expanded its revenue base, audience and global recognition.
  • Since the beginning of my tenure as a zoo animal keeper the philosophy surrounding enrichment has evolved.
  • Existing land tenure probably does not in and of itself make homes unsafe.
  • If you follow the news these days, you know that tenure is getting a bad rap.
  • For many years, tenure has been a popular target for critics outside of higher education.
  • The tenure process should be as transparent as possible.
  • Not if the tenure system is adapted to suit the modern realities of professors' lives.
  • No one wants to admit it, but there really is a problem with tenure.
British Dictionary definitions for tenure


/ˈtɛnjʊə; ˈtɛnjə/
the possession or holding of an office or position
the length of time an office, position, etc, lasts; term
(mainly US & Canadian) the improved security status of a person after having been in the employ of the same company or institution for a specified period
the right to permanent employment until retirement, esp for teachers, lecturers, etc
(property law)
  1. the holding or occupying of property, esp realty, in return for services rendered, etc
  2. the duration of such holding or occupation
Derived Forms
tenurial, adjective
tenurially, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Old French, from Medieval Latin tenitūra, ultimately from Latin tenēre to hold
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tenure

early 15c., "holding of a tenement," from Anglo-French and Old French tenure "a tenure, estate in land" (13c.), from Old French tenir "to hold," from Vulgar Latin *tenire, from Latin tenere "to hold" (see tenet). The sense of "condition or fact of holding a status, position, or occupation" is first attested 1590s. Meaning "guaranteed tenure of office" (usually at a university or school) is recorded from 1957.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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