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[ten-yerd] /ˈtɛn yərd/
of, having, or eligible for tenure, especially in a college or university:
There are three tenured professors in the history department.
granting, allowing, or leading to tenure:
None of the advertised jobs is a tenured position.
Origin of tenured
1960-65; tenure + -ed3


[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.
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 tenured
  • The grad students were mostly on board, but the tenured faculty were more hesitant.
  • Your federally funded and tenured academic world is quite attractive to us dust busters.
  • Joe is an internationally respected geologist, tenured, and well funded.
  • Faculty may be unwilling to antagonize a tenured colleague on behalf of a student who won't be around either way.
  • If power corrupts, life-tenured power corrupts more completely.
  • They live in poverty suck up to professors, and publish, for one must publish to be tenured.
  • As matters stand, one measure of a university's prestige is how little teaching is asked of its tenured professors.
  • After four years away from the university, his tenured professorship is at risk.
  • There are other advantages to having non-tenured professors.
  • Equally unsurprisingly, only about half end up with the jobs they entered graduate school to get: tenured professorships.
British Dictionary definitions for tenured


/ˈtɛnjʊəd; ˈtɛnjəd/
(mainly US & Canadian)
  1. having tenure of office: a tenured professor
  2. guaranteeing tenure of office: a tenured post


/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 tenured



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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