1414, "holding of a tenement," from Anglo-Fr. and O.Fr. tenure
"a tenure, estate in land" (13c.), from O.Fr. tenir
"to hold," from V.L. *tenire
, from L. tenere
"to hold" (see tenet
). The sense of "condition or fact of holding a status, position, or occupation" is first attested 1599. Meaning "guaranteed tenure of office" (usually at a university or school) is recorded from 1957.