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

tenurial [ten-yoor-ee-uhl] , adjective
tenurially, adverb
nontenurial, adjective
nontenurially, adverb
undertenure, noun

tender, tenor, tenure.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tenure (ˈtɛnjʊə, ˈtɛnjə)
1.  the possession or holding of an office or position
2.  the length of time an office, position, etc, lasts; term
3.  chiefly (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
4.  the right to permanent employment until retirement, esp for teachers, lecturers, etc
5.  property law
 a.  the holding or occupying of property, esp realty, in return for services rendered, etc
 b.  the duration of such holding or occupation
[C15: from Old French, from Medieval Latin tenitūra, ultimately from Latin tenēre to hold]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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