Definition of ten in English:


Pronunciation /ten/ /tɛn/

cardinal number

  • 1

    (also x, X)
    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’
    • ‘She always sleeps nine or ten hours the night before the race.’
    • ‘The food store had enough food in it to comfortably feed the five of them for ten years.’
    • ‘She can live like this another five or ten years.’
    • ‘Nine times out of ten when we played each other, they would beat us.’
    • ‘He scored ten goals in nine games.’
    • ‘Residents have lost between five and ten feet from their gardens.’
    • ‘When I survey the parking lot, there are maybe five to ten spots vacant.’
    • ‘One minute of laughing is equivalent to ten minutes on a rowing machine.’
    • ‘The park is staffed for nine to ten hours a day, six days a week.’
    • ‘Cook the cookies until the glaze is set, which should be for five to ten minutes.’
    • ‘Remove the meat and allow to cool for five to ten minutes.’
    • ‘A good article should be just as relevant five or ten years after it is published.’
    • ‘He was said to be around five feet ten inches tall.’
    • ‘Toxicology tests will take between five and ten days.’
    • ‘As always at this time of the year, he takes nine or ten weeks off.’
    • ‘I looked at him impassively for about five or ten seconds.’
    • ‘Most courses run for between nine and ten weeks.’
    • ‘They just don't have time to go to five or ten different shops.’
    • ‘Clients may choose between promotional plans for three, five and ten years.’
    • ‘Leave in the tin for five to ten minutes, then remove and serve.’
    1. 1.1A group or unit of ten people or things.
      ‘count in tens’
      • ‘Police chiefs said closing the unit would save taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds.’
      • ‘The Romans represented units, tens, hundreds, and thousands as separate items in their numbers.’
      • ‘If you apply that cost to tens of thousands of devices, you can see the impact.’
      • ‘It's rather odd that time just isn't counted in tens.’
      • ‘Companies competed for tens of thousands of new customers.’
      • ‘As the herd is driven slowly past, one man counts the animals in tens while the other writes down the numbers.’
      • ‘A couple lost tens of thousands of pounds after their close friend admitted fraud.’
      • ‘Over the past few decades tens of thousands of Irish farming families have been forced off the land.’
      • ‘It is the favoured destination for tens of thousands of couples.’
      • ‘People were trickling across, but in the dozens rather than tens of thousands.’
      • ‘People count by tens and machines count by twos.’
      • ‘The opinions of tens of thousands of other scientists don't count, because they're all biased.’
      • ‘Crowds that numbered in their tens of thousands were standing outside the cathedral chanting his name.’
      • ‘His army numbers in the tens of thousands.’
      • ‘There is more than enough food in the world to feed everyone, yet tens of thousands of people are starving.’
      • ‘Huge sea turtles numbering in the tens of millions flourished in the Caribbean.’
      • ‘Tens of thousands of people poured onto the streets to topple a corrupt regime.’
      • ‘Cattle numbers plummeted from tens of thousands to mere hundreds.’
      • ‘We have increased by tens of thousands the number of surgical procedures being carried out in this country.’
      • ‘They are the first ten of several dozen commandments delivered to Moses.’
    2. 1.2Ten years old.
      ‘the boy was no more than ten’
      • ‘They would go canoeing at a time when the children were all under the age of ten.’
      • ‘Members organised a fancy dress Hallowe'en party for children under ten years of age in the community centre.’
      • ‘The riders are all ages, some maybe under ten years of age.’
      • ‘The courses are usually attended by groups of youngsters - some aged as young as ten.’
      • ‘At about age ten, you and the family set sail for Perth.’
      • ‘In her car were six or seven children, all between the ages of ten an thirteen.’
      • ‘A witness had seen a youth, perhaps aged as young as ten or 11, acting suspiciously.’
      • ‘She was a single mother of two children aged ten and eleven-years-old.’
      • ‘The club hopes to expand membership particular among girls and players aged under ten years old.’
      • ‘She has sons aged ten and six.’
      • ‘She began her piano studies at the age of ten.’
      • ‘Athletes must be ten years of age in order to run in the Championship events.’
      • ‘My eldest grandson, aged ten, was my golf partner.’
      • ‘It was amazing to observe how she entertained the children, who ranged in age from three to ten years old.’
      • ‘I'd put their ages at eight and ten.’
      • ‘Membership is open to girls between the ages of seven and ten years of age.’
      • ‘She will now lead the activities for girls aged from seven to ten in the Brownies.’
      • ‘The couple have eight children from their previous marriages, ranging in age from ten to 18.’
      • ‘All boys and girls under ten years of age are welcome to participate.’
      • ‘Mr Wilson got his first camera when he was about nine or ten.’
    3. 1.3Ten o'clock.
      ‘at about ten at night I got a call’
      • ‘She works from eight o'clock in the morning to ten o'clock at night, six days a week.’
      • ‘The party started in the afternoon and continued until ten o'clock the next morning.’
      • ‘It was ten o'clock at night, but there wasn't much chance of a rest.’
      • ‘Ben was due to fly out that night at ten o'clock.’
      • ‘They had to work until ten o'clock at night.’
      • ‘At ten o'clock sharp every night he would go to a bar or a club.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I started out this morning at ten o'clock.’
      • ‘It was about ten o'clock yesterday evening when the bell tolled.’
      • ‘After ten o'clock in the evening there were not many people out on the streets.’
      • ‘Hitting the alarm clock he saw it was ten o'clock in the morning.’
      • ‘The next train to Cambridge did not leave until ten o'clock the following morning.’
      • ‘It was ten o'clock on a Friday night, and I could think of better places to be.’
      • ‘Shortly after ten o'clock the sound of trumpets could be heard outside the house.’
      • ‘At ten o'clock tonight I cruised home on the back of a scooter taxi.’
      • ‘At ten o'clock, they went back to their rooms and said good night to each other.’
      • ‘That night, around ten in the evening, he sent me a message.’
      • ‘Arriving back by ten o'clock, we went straight to the sitting room and sat on the sofa.’
      • ‘Glancing at his watch, he realized that it was almost ten o'clock.’
      • ‘The ceremony continued from four in the morning to ten at night.’
    4. 1.4A size of garment or other merchandise denoted by ten.
      • ‘I used to be very pretty and could fit into anything that was a size ten.’
      • ‘I was attractive, a size ten and got a lot of attention.’
      • ‘I like to use a size twelve hook, though Lee prefers a size ten.’
      • ‘I could wear my size ten and twelve clothes a week after my first daughter was born.’
      • ‘It hadn't been easy to find high heels in a size ten.’
    5. 1.5A ten-dollar bill.
      ‘he took the money in tens’
      • ‘She could tell exactly how much of that thick stack of cash was of ones, fives, tens, and hundred-dollar bills.’
      • ‘There were two one dollar bills, one five dollar bill, and two tens - plus three dollars in change.’
      • ‘I'll use one of my tens and combine our money to buy it for you!’
      • ‘She saw two fifty-dollar bills, followed by several twenties, a ten, a five, and four one-dollar-bills’
      • ‘She took out her wallet and dug out a fifty-dollar bill, a ten, a five, and three ones’
      • ‘Simon hands the cashier a ten.’
      • ‘He paid her with a ten, and walked out’
      • ‘He returned and placed a ten, a five, and three ones on the bar’
      • ‘She gave me a ten and I gave her five back.’
      • ‘Kelly glared at me before pulling out her wallet and giving me a twenty, a ten, and a one’
      • ‘I finished my beer and gave the bartender a ten.’
      • ‘He handed the waiter a ten and a twenty.’
      • ‘Reaching into his pocket, he pulls out a ten and I give him his change.’
      • ‘He scanned the few bills that he had left - a ten and some ones.’
      • ‘I reached into my pocket, searching for a five-dollar bill, but Lance slapped down a ten’
    6. 1.6A playing card with ten pips.
      ‘the ten of hearts’
      • ‘The aces, tens and face cards have point values associated with them.’
      • ‘The kings of diamonds are the highest trumps instead of the tens of hearts.’
      • ‘If any of these hand cards are tens or face cards, players can discard some or all of those cards.’
      • ‘The game point goes to the side that wins the ten of trumps in a trick.’
      • ‘The most valuable cards are aces and tens.’
      • ‘The object is to capture aces, tens and the last trick.’
      • ‘The aces and tens are called sharp cards and are worth 10 points each.’
      • ‘Anyone who holds the ace, king, queen, jack or ten of hearts takes all the chips.’
      • ‘This pack can be made from two standard 52-card packs by omitting all the tens and picture cards.’
      • ‘Four aces, kings, queens or tens are worth 100.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Aces behave like a tens, but can only be played on a jack, queen or king.’
      • ‘You can play a red ten on a black jack.’
      • ‘Take a pack of playing cards and remove the jokers, tens, jacks and queens.’
      • ‘A hand of tens and jacks usually heralds catastrophe.’
      • ‘The tens are taken out of a normal 52 card pack, leaving 48 cards.’
      • ‘Kings and tens are worth 10 points each.’
      • ‘The ten is placed face up with Jack and Queen on top of it.’
      • ‘On my first night of Internet poker I crushed a seasoned player with a pair of tens.’
      • ‘The guy makes a big bet and I look down to find a pair of tens.’
    7. 1.7a tenUsed 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’
      • ‘They run a page rank system where you are marked out of ten.’
      • ‘It's very difficult to get a ten.’
      • ‘I gave him a ten, but made it clear that nine points were out of pity.’
      • ‘His energy level gets a score of ten, especially for already being on the job at 6:00 in the morning’
      • ‘She's got wrinkles, and that harried suburban Mom look, but her body's still a ten’
      • ‘She is just a tad shy of a ten’
      • ‘I would give this book a ten.’
      • ‘Patients tell me their pain level is a ten.’
      • ‘The overall production quality of this DVD was exceptional and easily rates a ten.’
      • ‘I may not be a ten but the boys say I clean up good.’


    ten to one
    • Very probably.

      ‘ten to one you'll never find out who did this’
      • ‘Odds are ten to one that she will be an outcast at the next meeting.’
      • ‘Ten to one, Henry will bribe them.’
      • ‘Ten to one you've had to go to the dictionary to find out what that means.’
      • ‘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.



/ten/ /tɛn/