views updated May 18 2018

ten·ure / ˈtenyər; -ˌyoŏr/ • n. 1. the conditions under which land or buildings are held or occupied.2. the holding of an office: his tenure of the premiership would be threatened. ∎  a period for which an office is held.3. guaranteed permanent employment, esp. as a teacher or professor, after a probationary period.• v. [tr.] give (someone) a permanent post, esp. as a teacher or professor: I had recently been tenured and then promoted to full professor. ∎  [as adj.] (tenured) having or denoting such a post: a tenured faculty member.ORIGIN: late Middle English: from Old French, from tenir ‘to hold,’ from Latin tenere.


views updated May 23 2018


A right, term, or mode of holding or occupying something of value for a period of time.

In feudal law, the principal mode or system by which a person held land from a superior in exchange for the rendition of service and loyalty to the grantor.

The status given to an educator who has satisfactorily completed teaching for a trial period and is, therefore, protected against summary dismissal by the employer.

A length of time during which an individual has a right to occupy a public or private office.

In a general sense, the term tenure describes the length of time that a person holds a job, position, or something of value. In the context of academic employment, tenure refers to a faculty appointment for an indefinite period of time. When an academic institution gives tenure to an educator, it gives up the right to terminate that person without good cause.

In medieval England, tenure referred to the prevailing system of land ownership and land possession. Under the tenure system, a landholder, called a tenant, held land at the will of a lord, who gave the tenant possession of the land in exchange for a good or service provided by the tenant. The various types of arrangements between the tenant and lord were called tenures. The most common tenures provided for military service, agricultural work, economic tribute, or religious duties in exchange for land.




views updated May 29 2018

tenure holding of a tenement, condition under which it is held. XV. — OF. tenure, f. tenir hold; see TENANT -URE.