Definition of ten in English:


cardinal number

  • 1Equivalent to the product of five and two; one more than nine; 10.

    ‘the last ten years’
    ‘the house comfortably sleeps ten’
    ‘a ten-foot shrub’
    • ‘She always sleeps nine or ten hours the night before the race.’
    • ‘He was said to be around five feet ten inches tall.’
    • ‘Nine times out of ten when we played each other, they would beat us.’
    • ‘Cook the cookies until the glaze is set, which should be for five to ten minutes.’
    • ‘He scored ten goals in nine games.’
    • ‘She can live like this another five or ten years.’
    • ‘When I survey the parking lot, there are maybe five to ten spots vacant.’
    • ‘Clients may choose between promotional plans for three, five and ten years.’
    • ‘Toxicology tests will take between five and ten days.’
    • ‘I looked at him impassively for about five or ten seconds.’
    • ‘Residents have lost between five and ten feet from their gardens.’
    • ‘They just don't have time to go to five or ten different shops.’
    • ‘Leave in the tin for five to ten minutes, then remove and serve.’
    • ‘One minute of laughing is equivalent to ten minutes on a rowing machine.’
    • ‘A good article should be just as relevant five or ten years after it is published.’
    • ‘The food store had enough food in it to comfortably feed the five of them for ten years.’
    • ‘As always at this time of the year, he takes nine or ten weeks off.’
    • ‘Remove the meat and allow to cool for five to ten minutes.’
    • ‘Most courses run for between nine and ten weeks.’
    • ‘The park is staffed for nine to ten hours a day, six days a week.’
    1. 1.1 A group or unit of ten people or things.
      ‘count in tens’
      • ‘Cattle numbers plummeted from tens of thousands to mere hundreds.’
      • ‘His army numbers in the tens of thousands.’
      • ‘People count by tens and machines count by twos.’
      • ‘Over the past few decades tens of thousands of Irish farming families have been forced off the land.’
      • ‘Police chiefs said closing the unit would save taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds.’
      • ‘They are the first ten of several dozen commandments delivered to Moses.’
      • ‘There is more than enough food in the world to feed everyone, yet tens of thousands of people are starving.’
      • ‘Crowds that numbered in their tens of thousands were standing outside the cathedral chanting his name.’
      • ‘The Romans represented units, tens, hundreds, and thousands as separate items in their numbers.’
      • ‘Companies competed for tens of thousands of new customers.’
      • ‘A couple lost tens of thousands of pounds after their close friend admitted fraud.’
      • ‘People were trickling across, but in the dozens rather than tens of thousands.’
      • ‘Tens of thousands of people poured onto the streets to topple a corrupt regime.’
      • ‘It is the favoured destination for tens of thousands of couples.’
      • ‘It's rather odd that time just isn't counted in tens.’
      • ‘The opinions of tens of thousands of other scientists don't count, because they're all biased.’
      • ‘Huge sea turtles numbering in the tens of millions flourished in the Caribbean.’
      • ‘If you apply that cost to tens of thousands of devices, you can see the impact.’
      • ‘We have increased by tens of thousands the number of surgical procedures being carried out in this country.’
      • ‘As the herd is driven slowly past, one man counts the animals in tens while the other writes down the numbers.’
    2. 1.2 Ten years old.
      ‘the boy was no more than ten’
      • ‘The courses are usually attended by groups of youngsters - some aged as young as ten.’
      • ‘Mr Wilson got his first camera when he was about nine or ten.’
      • ‘The club hopes to expand membership particular among girls and players aged under ten years old.’
      • ‘She was a single mother of two children aged ten and eleven-years-old.’
      • ‘In her car were six or seven children, all between the ages of ten an thirteen.’
      • ‘Members organised a fancy dress Hallowe'en party for children under ten years of age in the community centre.’
      • ‘Membership is open to girls between the ages of seven and ten years of age.’
      • ‘A witness had seen a youth, perhaps aged as young as ten or 11, acting suspiciously.’
      • ‘At about age ten, you and the family set sail for Perth.’
      • ‘All boys and girls under ten years of age are welcome to participate.’
      • ‘Athletes must be ten years of age in order to run in the Championship events.’
      • ‘The couple have eight children from their previous marriages, ranging in age from ten to 18.’
      • ‘She began her piano studies at the age of ten.’
      • ‘I'd put their ages at eight and ten.’
      • ‘She has sons aged ten and six.’
      • ‘She will now lead the activities for girls aged from seven to ten in the Brownies.’
      • ‘It was amazing to observe how she entertained the children, who ranged in age from three to ten years old.’
      • ‘The riders are all ages, some maybe under ten years of age.’
      • ‘My eldest grandson, aged ten, was my golf partner.’
      • ‘They would go canoeing at a time when the children were all under the age of ten.’
    3. 1.3 Ten o'clock.
      ‘at about ten at night I got a call’
      • ‘Shortly after ten o'clock the sound of trumpets could be heard outside the house.’
      • ‘That night, around ten in the evening, he sent me a message.’
      • ‘Glancing at his watch, he realized that it was almost ten o'clock.’
      • ‘It was about ten o'clock yesterday evening when the bell tolled.’
      • ‘At ten o'clock sharp every night he would go to a bar or a club.’
      • ‘The next train to Cambridge did not leave until ten o'clock the following morning.’
      • ‘It was ten o'clock at night, but there wasn't much chance of a rest.’
      • ‘The party started in the afternoon and continued until ten o'clock the next morning.’
      • ‘I started out this morning at ten o'clock.’
      • ‘She works from eight o'clock in the morning to ten o'clock at night, six days a week.’
      • ‘Ben was due to fly out that night at ten o'clock.’
      • ‘After ten o'clock in the evening there were not many people out on the streets.’
      • ‘At ten o'clock, they went back to their rooms and said good night to each other.’
      • ‘Hitting the alarm clock he saw it was ten o'clock in the morning.’
      • ‘Arriving back by ten o'clock, we went straight to the sitting room and sat on the sofa.’
      • ‘They had to work until ten o'clock at night.’
      • ‘It was ten o'clock on a Friday night, and I could think of better places to be.’
      • ‘At ten o'clock tonight I cruised home on the back of a scooter taxi.’
      • ‘The ceremony continued from four in the morning to ten at night.’
      • ‘As we plodded out into the garden about ten o'clock this evening, a thin layer of dark cloud drifted across from the south-east.’
    4. 1.4 A size of garment or other merchandise denoted by ten.
      • ‘It hadn't been easy to find high heels in a size ten.’
      • ‘I could wear my size ten and twelve clothes a week after my first daughter was born.’
      • ‘I like to use a size twelve hook, though Lee prefers a size ten.’
      • ‘I was attractive, a size ten and got a lot of attention.’
      • ‘I used to be very pretty and could fit into anything that was a size ten.’
    5. 1.5 A ten-pound note or ten-dollar bill.
      ‘he took the money in tens’
      • ‘She saw two fifty-dollar bills, followed by several twenties, a ten, a five, and four one-dollar-bills’
      • ‘He handed the waiter a ten and a twenty.’
      • ‘She gave me a ten and I gave her five back.’
      • ‘Reaching into his pocket, he pulls out a ten and I give him his change.’
      • ‘I finished my beer and gave the bartender a ten.’
      • ‘There were two one dollar bills, one five dollar bill, and two tens - plus three dollars in change.’
      • ‘I reached into my pocket, searching for a five-dollar bill, but Lance slapped down a ten’
      • ‘I'll use one of my tens and combine our money to buy it for you!’
      • ‘Kelly glared at me before pulling out her wallet and giving me a twenty, a ten, and a one’
      • ‘He returned and placed a ten, a five, and three ones on the bar’
      • ‘She could tell exactly how much of that thick stack of cash was of ones, fives, tens, and hundred-dollar bills.’
      • ‘She took out her wallet and dug out a fifty-dollar bill, a ten, a five, and three ones’
      • ‘He scanned the few bills that he had left - a ten and some ones.’
      • ‘He paid her with a ten, and walked out’
      • ‘Simon hands the cashier a ten.’
    6. 1.6 A playing card with ten pips.
      ‘the ten of hearts’
      • ‘Take a pack of playing cards and remove the jokers, tens, jacks and queens.’
      • ‘On my first night of Internet poker I crushed a seasoned player with a pair of tens.’
      • ‘The ten is placed face up with Jack and Queen on top of it.’
      • ‘You can play a red ten on a black jack.’
      • ‘The guy makes a big bet and I look down to find a pair of tens.’
      • ‘Kings and tens are worth 10 points each.’
      • ‘The kings of diamonds are the highest trumps instead of the tens of hearts.’
      • ‘Four aces, kings, queens or tens are worth 100.’
      • ‘The most valuable cards are aces and tens.’
      • ‘If you only have a trio of tens and are sure your opponent has a trio of aces, there is little point in announcing the tens.’
      • ‘The tens are taken out of a normal 52 card pack, leaving 48 cards.’
      • ‘Anyone who holds the ace, king, queen, jack or ten of hearts takes all the chips.’
      • ‘A hand of tens and jacks usually heralds catastrophe.’
      • ‘The aces and tens are called sharp cards and are worth 10 points each.’
      • ‘Aces behave like a tens, but can only be played on a jack, queen or king.’
      • ‘If any of these hand cards are tens or face cards, players can discard some or all of those cards.’
      • ‘The object is to capture aces, tens and the last trick.’
      • ‘This pack can be made from two standard 52-card packs by omitting all the tens and picture cards.’
      • ‘The game point goes to the side that wins the ten of trumps in a trick.’
      • ‘The aces, tens and face cards have point values associated with them.’


  • ten out of ten

    • 1A perfect mark.

      • ‘I came into work triumphantly waving the paper and my colleague checked my scribblings and gave me a little star and a ten out of ten marking.’
      1. 1.1Used to indicate that someone has done something well.
        ‘you have to give her ten out of ten for persistence’
        • ‘Every player gets ten out of ten for effort.’
        • ‘I would give myself a ten out of ten for my performance.’
        • ‘I would give it ten out of ten if someone bought it for me because no-one ever buys me perfume, but for my other half…’
        • ‘While the food gets ten out of ten, we can't say the same for the weather.’
        • ‘At the end of her term she has emerged with a rating of ten out of ten.’
        • ‘I can have the best answers and get ten out of ten on this worksheet.’
        • ‘The riveting production earned ten out of ten for entertainment value.’
        • ‘The design of the place wasn't practical, but I had to give it ten out of ten for comfort and originality.’
        • ‘If the music weeklies gave an album ten out of ten, I invariably went and bought it.’
        • ‘Here is a second chance to pick up some of the wines that scored ten out of ten.’
  • ten to one

    • Very probably.

      ‘ten to one you'll never find out who did this’
      • ‘Ten to one, Henry will bribe them.’
      • ‘Ten to one you've had to go to the dictionary to find out what that means.’
      • ‘Odds are ten to one that she will be an outcast at the next meeting.’
      • ‘It's ten to one he has never used his passport.’
      • ‘Well this should be fun; ten to one says he gets us lost.’


Old English tēn, tīen, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch tien and German zehn, from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit daśa, Greek deka, and Latin decem.