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Definition of tennis
- a game in which two or four players strike a ball with rackets over a net stretched across a court. The usual form (originally called lawn tennis) is played with a felt-covered hollow rubber ball on a grass, clay, or artificial surface. See also real tennis.
late Middle English tenetz, tenes 'real tennis', apparently from Old French tenez 'take, receive' (called by the server to an opponent), imperative of tenir