Definition of tenure in US English:



  • 1The conditions under which land or buildings are held or occupied.

    • ‘Most importantly perhaps the philosophy of land tenure and inheritance was quite different.’
    • ‘The stability of the system is indicated by the fact that long-term leases for a life or for several lives were common, and that these long-term grants tended to turn into hereditary tenures.’
    • ‘Yet on this view also the records give no help: none of the rebellions began in an area known to suffer from land tenure conditions worse than average.’
    • ‘The latter entails redefining land tenure and redistribution of land.’
    • ‘Both parties also came to share an interest in maintaining reserved areas with inalienable or communal land tenure where Africans would be free from the threat of further dispossession.’
    • ‘Insecure land tenure is a common problem faced by African pastoralists and by indigenous peoples more globally.’
    • ‘Conditions in Tanzania were further complicated by a system of laws that redefined land tenure and property relations based on socialism.’
    • ‘Charles McCurdy has written a fascinating account of the ‘Anti-Rent’ movement that formed in New York in 1839 in opposition to these manorial tenures.’
    • ‘It motivated the expulsion; it financed the colonization; it secured the property rights by which peasants came to hold land in fee-simple tenure.’
    • ‘It was the least encumbered of all the tenures with obsolete and burdensome features, reminiscent of an older day, when land-holding involved public rights and duties as well as private rights of ownership.’
    • ‘Much of the country was still held in multiple tenures - infield and outfield, with the remainder still held as ‘commonties’ by the local community.’
    • ‘Generally, they are marginal and powerless people, often with no security of land tenure and inhabiting mainly the upland areas.’
    • ‘‘Tenants often complain about breaches in contracts where some landlords demand money before the end of their tenures,’ Mr Seketa observed.’
    • ‘The second great universal issue was the land: ownership, tenure, the dues to be paid for its use, and the power derived from its possession.’
    • ‘Three types of land tenure occur: regular landed property; hereditary tenure or long lease; and the renting of government grounds.’
    • ‘But without exception, these big operations use leased land, with tenures typically of two to five years.’
    • ‘Even in countries like Australia, which haven't witnessed recent dramatic upheaval, there is still scope for confusion around land tenure, albeit on a much smaller scale.’
    • ‘The contemporary system of land ownership and tenure resulted from French efforts to introduce a system of individual land ownership.’
    • ‘Partible inheritance was, for example, a distinct feature of Kentish gavelkind tenures, which were classified as free, and also survived amongst customary tenants in parts of northern and eastern England.’
    • ‘In urban areas, however, the choice of space is limited because of the restricted availability of houses and the nature of freehold land tenure.’
    tenancy, occupancy, holding, occupation, residence
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  • 2The holding of an office.

    ‘his tenure of the premiership would be threatened’
    • ‘A successful bid would make Hashimoto only the second postwar premier to return to office after a break in his tenure.’
    • ‘The issue of land settlement dominated the entire tenure of his office.’
    • ‘He promised that transparency and accountability would form foundation of his executive's tenure in office and success on the field of play.’
    • ‘We may not finish the job during my tenure in office; but we must, so we will, stay the course and make good progress.’
    • ‘During his tenure at Oxford University, he belonged to a group called the inklings, which also included the author C.S. Lewis.’
    • ‘During his tenure, the university experienced its most expansive period of growth.’
    • ‘And then later, during his tenure in office, Prime Minister Rabin did freeze settlements.’
    • ‘Bocsh's Jimmy Carter will probably not alter the way we look at the 39th president's tenure in office, but it is a well-crafted bio.’
    • ‘The pope's privilege of choosing a name for his tenure in office ought to be exercised more strategically than has been done during the past few centuries.’
    • ‘It's an improvement over the last time a president announced that he would end his tenure with the university.’
    • ‘And if she runs, the controversies of her past and the scars of her husband's Oval Office tenure would be fully revisited.’
    • ‘Harris' tenure as Ontario Premier has seen many successes, but has not been without controversy.’
    • ‘Their tenure of office was uncertain and insecure.’
    • ‘By the end of his long tenure, the office had established itself as one of the most important in the realm.’
    • ‘But my question would be this: If I'm not mistaken most of Frost's tenure in office was under the Democratic majority.’
    • ‘Ronald Granger has not made any changes to the office during his tenure here, except for a picture of Frances and his children.’
    • ‘During his five-year tenure, the office developed initiatives totaling more than $90 million.’
    • ‘Staff members of the current office also worked under the office during Megawati's tenure.’
    • ‘Cleverdon had the longest tenure of office as pastor of First Baptist Church in Savannah - nineteen years.’
    • ‘During the president's tenure in office, he's built an impressive record.’
    incumbency, term of office, term, period in office, period of office, time, time in office
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    1. 2.1 A period for which an office is held.
      • ‘The lawmakers elected for the Seventh Legislature will enter office in 2008, and the lawmakers' tenures beginning with the Seventh Legislature would be lengthened from three to four years.’
      • ‘Humphries, at the request of the board, has already extended his tenure at the university at least twice this year.’
      • ‘Mathewson politely suggested that long tenures were not necessarily synonymous with a lack of independence.’
      • ‘On the other hand, opponents argue that the two four-year tenures are long enough to drive the nation into a dire situation by the president's mismanagement of state affairs, obsessed with his or her party's interests.’
      • ‘There would be eight semi - permanent seats with tenure of four years that could then be renewed for another four - year term but no longer.’
      • ‘Reaching five times the median tenure in office may be the result of unusual circumstances more than gifted leadership.’
      • ‘I think we've got in Australia casuals where their average tenure in their current employment is 2.6 years.’
      • ‘Until past mid-century, pastors of this congregation usually had brief tenures and some reflected the youthful immaturity and arrogance of W. B. Johnson.’
      • ‘Both Wiegmann and Meinert have had long tenures with the German national team - 12 and 10 years, respectively.’
      • ‘In my view, at least some tribunal members need a long and secure tenure in office if for no other reason than to safeguard the robust administration of the FOI law.’
      • ‘Owners hold engineering tenures for at least 15 years before they are invited to sit on the board, a limit that pressures them to bring in new business.’
      • ‘He does not feel that the precedence of the short tenures as an MP would discourage the voters.’
      • ‘These single teachers taught an average of 12 years, raising the average tenure of teachers.’
      • ‘One of the shortest managerial tenures ever (barring so-called ‘interim’ appointments) came just last year, covering only four days.’
      • ‘In an eleven-member ensemble, he can boast of dancers with two- and three-decade tenures.’
      • ‘To make matters worse, most cabinet officials have rather short tenures in office.’
      • ‘Short tenures of senior secretaries, Ms. Gouri lamented, has had its own effect in the functioning of her department.’
      • ‘With bank time deposits, you can opt for renewable tenures of one week to one year.’
      • ‘The tenures range between six and 24 months and approval may be given in 48 hours.’
      • ‘And 17% of directors have tenures of 15 years or more.’
  • 3Guaranteed permanent employment, especially as a teacher or professor, after a probationary period.

    • ‘They see limited chances to further their academic career, and so drift frequently between different universities without gaining tenure.’
    • ‘There isn't a way it would be possible for any person to be ‘banned from getting tenure at any Canadian university.’’
    • ‘College/university music teachers have tenure, rank and their employer's standards that provide professional status for them.’
    • ‘Our current criteria for awarding tenure encourage teachers to devote most of their energy to research.’
    • ‘The unions are spending a boatload of money to protect their paycheck deduction for dues and to fight against extending the time to get teacher tenure.’
    • ‘Newly divorced and up for tenure at Washington State University, she was faced with trying to eke out a living for herself and her two daughters on an assistant professor's salary.’
    • ‘And people have been denied admission to the university, or denied tenure, or didn't get their degrees, all due to their sex since then?’
    • ‘Reportedly, he was one of the first African-Americans without a college degree to get tenure at a major university.’
    • ‘The chair or department head should not have tenure in office; tenure as a faculty member is a matter of separate right.’
    • ‘Compare, for example, the probationary period endured by an assistant professor before gaining tenure with that of an assembly line worker in the automotive sector.’
    • ‘Instead of tenure, the university offered a one-year extension on Chapela's contract that is now in its last months.’
    • ‘Do I become a faculty member in a University, get a tenure, become an Associate Professor and then a Full Professor, publish useless articles, and die?’
    • ‘Because he's a lowly adjunct professor who can't even dream of a full professorship let alone tenure, he discovers that neither side will have him.’
    • ‘In most disciplines at large research universities, tenure is directly related to the number of peer-reviewed books and articles one publishes.’
    • ‘University teachers have lost tenure and the quality of their teaching and research is regularly assessed by independent bodies.’
    • ‘He was subsequently promoted to the rank of associate professor and granted tenure.’
    • ‘Many universities are now reconsidering tenure, at least in part because of the federal ban on mandatory retirement.’
    • ‘So much of what you read and hear in the States is born out of a need for academics to be published in order to keep their tenure at universities.’
    • ‘East Texas Baptist University currently does not have a system of academic tenure.’
    • ‘Another would raise eligibility for teacher tenure to five years from the current two, making it easier to fire poor performers.’
    • ‘His failure to attain tenure at a major university was the result of his unconventional ideas.’


[with object]
  • 1Give (someone) a permanent post, especially as a teacher or professor.

    ‘I had recently been tenured and then promoted to full professor’
    • ‘My college tenured several professors who instilled in students a sharp guilt about reading newspapers.’
    • ‘To assume that a faculty member was denied tenure because of race or gender is as irresponsible as assuming that he or she was tenured on the basis of skin color rather than achievement.’
    • ‘Buchanan was driven out in part by not tenuring his junior colleagues.’
    • ‘He was tenured in 1970 and promoted to full professor in 1974.’
    • ‘The program at Texas, for example, is not yet a Department, hut since it already does its own hiring and tenuring, as soon as that group has a strong major in place, full departmental status seems the next likely step.’
    • ‘Fortunately, it came out okay, I was promoted and tenured the next year and nothing was ever said about this incident again.’
    • ‘What if a lecturer could be tenured as a lecturer, according to a set of criteria that pertained specifically to that work?’
    • ‘At 35, Professor Woodstock was tenured and promoted to the rank of associate professor at a large research university.’
    • ‘Thus tenuring Professor Arnold would have increased the number of tenured faculty, not changed the student-faculty ratio.’
    • ‘The question is, did they know about his views before they tenured him?’
    • ‘And we question the justness of tenuring him, certainly of the size of his salary and administrative reach.’
    • ‘If her take on hiring practices is right, Emory isn't going to be tenuring anyone in this area of interest anytime soon.’
    1. 1.1as adjective tenured Having or denoting a permanent post, especially as a teacher or professor.
      ‘a tenured faculty member’
      • ‘Their salaries and benefits often approach those of probationary and tenured faculty members, although they do not match them.’
      • ‘Well, I am a biblical scholar - complete with tenured academic post - and I think your analysis is convincing.’
      • ‘Tenured faculty were facing retirement without the assurance that new generations of tenured academic citizens would take their places.’
      • ‘Professors traditionally try to find tenured positions at universities.’
      • ‘He was tenured, respected and highly paid, but when he lived in the Ukraine, he had to get in food lines like everybody else and wait two or three hours for bread.’
      • ‘In December the president moved to dismiss a tenured professor.’
      • ‘According to a survey by the University of California, Los Angeles, one-third of the tenured professoriate is now over the age of fifty-five.’
      • ‘On the contrary, these universities must follow the trends set by the leading universities, whose tenured faculty members perform this vital work.’
      • ‘They are tenured, they can't fire them, they also have to work with them.’
      • ‘Tenured women in science are twice as likely as tenured men to be single, and more tenured women remain single in the social sciences and humanities, as well.’
      • ‘One faculty colleague said in response to this, ‘Can anybody on earth have less reason to fear than a tenured Harvard professor?’’
      • ‘She was the first woman to be granted a full tenured professorship in a clinical department at the medical school.’
      • ‘Professorial titles are commonly awarded even to nonteaching clinicians, although usually without involving tenured or probationary appointments.’
      • ‘Many openly stated that they would not hire or support the candidacy of an out-of-the-closet scientific creationist for a tenured position in academia.’
      • ‘A survey of less tenured employees may show a higher percentage considering leaving the profession.’
      • ‘It is assumed that graduates contribute more than undergraduates to the intellectual vitality and research output of tenured academic staff, and thus to the overall standing of the university.’
      • ‘He and his newly tenured colleagues bring love of their work and students into the classroom and to their scholarship.’
      • ‘Publication success is often a key factor in deciding whether an academic wins research grants or is offered a tenured post at a university.’
      • ‘That not-unique pattern points to the inadequacy of much current nomenclature about part-time or adjunct faculty versus tenured professors.’
      • ‘They hire more temporary adjuncts instead of permanent, tenured staff.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, from tenir ‘to hold’, from Latin tenere.