ten / ten/ • cardinal number equivalent 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. (Roman numeral: x, X) ∎ a group or unit of ten people or things: count in tens. ∎ ten years old: the boy was no more than ten. ∎ ten o'clock: at about ten at night, I got a call. ∎ a size of garment or other merchandise denoted by ten. ∎ a ten-dollar bill: he took the money in tens. ∎ a playing card with ten pips. ∎ (a ten) used to indicate that someone has done something well; the highest mark on a scale of one to ten: I would have to give them a ten for all the work they did. PHRASES: be ten a pennysee penny. ten to one very probably: ten to one you'll never find out who did this. ORIGIN: 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.
Ten Commandments in the Bible, the divine rules of conduct given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai, according to Exodus 20:1–17. The commandments are generally enumerated as: have no other gods; do not make or worship idols; do not take the name of the Lord in vain; keep the sabbath holy; honour one's father and mother; do not kill; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not give false evidence; do not covet another's property or wife.
ten-minute rule a rule of the House of Commons allowing brief discussion of a motion to introduce a bill, each speech being limited to ten minutes; the standing order imposing this limitation was passed in 1888.
ten persecutions persecutions of the early Church, as enumerated by 5th-century writers; Orosius popularized the idea of ten Roman emperors as persecutors, namely Nero, Domitian, Trajan, Marcus Aurelius, Septimus Severus, Maximinus Thrax, Decius, Valerian, Aurelian, and Diocletian, although in fact treatment of Christians in the different reigns varied widely.
See also nine times out of ten, one picture is worth ten thousand words, upper ten thousand.