1. A game played with rackets and a light ball by two players or two pairs of players on a rectangular court divided by a net. The players must hit the ball over the net and into a marked area on the other side for play to continue. Also called lawn tennis.
2. Court tennis.
[Middle English tenetz, tenyes, court tennis, from Anglo-Norman tenetz and Old French tenez, pl. imperative of tenir, to hold, from Latin tenēre; see DETAIN.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.