- capable of being held, maintained, or defended, as against attack or dispute: a tenable theory.
- capable of being occupied, possessed, held, or enjoyed, as under certain conditions: a research grant tenable for two years.
Origin of tenable
1570–80; < French: that can be held, equivalent to ten(ir) to hold (≪ Latin tenēre) + -able -able
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. workable, viable, maintainable, warrantable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for tenability
This discrepancy too is putting pressure on the tenability of the Atlantic alliance.Obama and Merkel Play Friends for the Cameras
Russell A. Berman
June 5, 2011
Nothing much need be said as to the tenability of this theory.The Place of Science in Modern Civilisation and Other Essays
Complete consistency and tenability in such theories is not to be expected.Introduction to the History of Religions
Crawford Howell Toy
The merit of his studies was at once recognized, but the tenability of his hypothesis was long and ardently disputed.A History of Science, Volume 3(of 5)
Henry Smith Williams
- able to be upheld, believed, maintained, or defended
C16: from Old French, from tenir to hold, from Latin tenēre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for tenability
1570s, from Middle French tenable, from Old French (12c.), from tenir "to hold," from Latin tenere "hold, keep" (see tenet).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper