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untenable

[uhn-ten-uh-buh l] /ʌnˈtɛn ə bəl/
adjective
1.
incapable of being defended, as an argument, thesis, etc.; indefensible.
2.
not fit to be occupied, as an apartment, house, etc.
Origin of untenable
1640-1650
First recorded in 1640-50; un-1 + tenable
Related forms
untenability, untenableness, noun
Synonyms
1. baseless, groundless, unsound, weak, questionable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for untenability
Historical Examples
  • Indeed, he himself illustrated the untenability of his idea.

  • The examination of those who squint demonstrates the untenability of this theory.

    Schweigger on Squint C. Schweigger
  • Storm has pointed out, convincingly it seems to me, the untenability of the latter supposition.

  • One experiment deserves special record, as it also shows the untenability of the blood-poison theory.

  • This point of view illustrates the untenability of another objection to the freedom of the will, viz.

    Evolution Frank B. Jevons
  • Life was forcibly pushing him from one standpoint after another, proving its untenability, sending him forth to find fresh fields.

    An Unknown Lover Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • The theories found in modern manuals of Equity are very various, but all are alike in their untenability.

    Ancient Law Sir Henry James Sumner Maine
  • This dogma was pretty generally held until the time of Darwin , although Lamarck had already proved its untenability in 1809.

  • In the foregoing pages I have attempted to prove the untenability of the doctrine of determinants from general considerations.

  • I think in the present essay, on theoretical and experimental grounds I have shown the untenability of Roux's mosaic theory.

British Dictionary definitions for untenability

untenable

/ʌnˈtɛnəbəl/
adjective
1.
(of theories, propositions, etc) incapable of being maintained, defended, or vindicated
2.
unable to be maintained against attack
3.
(rare) (of a house, etc) unfit for occupation
Derived Forms
untenability, untenableness, noun
untenably, adverb
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 untenability

untenable

adj.

1640s, "incapable of being held against attack," from un- (1) "not" + past participle of tenable. Figurative sense is recorded from 1690s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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