June 05, 2013
tenure (noun)
\TEN-yer\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: the act, right, manner, or term of holding something (as property, a position, or an office); especially : a status granted after a trial period to a teacher that gives protection from dismissal except for serious cause determined by formal proceedings
How do you use it?
If Professor Williams continues to teach at the college for another three years, he will be granted tenure and his job will be secure until he decides to retire.
Are you a word wiz?

Which one of these words do you think comes from the same root word as "tenure"?

Both "tenure" and "lieutenant" come from the Latin verb "tenere," which means "to hold." While "tenure" refers to the term or right of holding property or a position, the original meaning of "lieutenant" was "a person holding another person's place." "Abstain," also from "tenere," means to "hold" oneself away from doing something, and "detain" denotes "holding" or keeping someone as if in prison. The same root also gave us "tenacious," which indicates "holding" tightly to something.
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