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[ten-der-loin] /ˈtɛn dərˌlɔɪn/
(in beef or pork) the tender meat of the muscle running through the sirloin and terminating before the ribs.
a cut of beef lying between the sirloin and ribs.
(initial capital letter)
  1. (formerly) a district in New York City noted for corruption and vice: so called because police there could eat well from their bribes.
  2. a similar district in any U.S. city.
Origin of tenderloin
An Americanism dating back to 1820-30; tender1 + loin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for tenderloin


a tender cut of pork or other meat from between the sirloin and ribs
(US) a district of a city that is particularly noted for vice and corruption
Word Origin
sense 2 from Tenderloin, former district of New York City, regarded as an easy source of bribes for a corrupt policeman
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
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Word Origin and History for tenderloin

1828, "tender part of a loin of pork or beef," from tender (adj.) + loin. The slang meaning "police district noted for vice" appeared first 1887 in New York, on the notion of the neighborhood of the chief theaters, restaurants, etc., being the "juciest cut" for graft and blackmail.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for tenderloin



A district of a city where vice and corruption are rife

[1887+; fr earlier sense of undercut of a sirloin steak; orig applied specifically to a district of New York City, fr the notion that the proceeds from corruption made it a juicy morsel for the local police]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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