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Ten"nis (?), n. [OE. tennes, tenies, tenyse; of uncertain origin, perhaps fr. F. tenez hold or take it, fr. tenir to hold (see Tenable).] A play in which a ball is driven to and fro, or kept in motion by striking it with a racket or with the open hand. Shak.
His easy bow, his good stories, his style of dancing and playing tennis, . . . were familiar to all London. Macaulay.
Court tennis, the old game of tennis as played within walled courts of peculiar construction; -- distinguished from lawn tennis. -- Lawn tennis. See under Lawn, n. -- Tennis court, a place or court for playing the game of tennis. Shak.
Ten"nis, v. t. To drive backward and forward, as a ball in playing tennis. [R.] Spenser.