[ ten-uh-buhl ]
See synonyms for: tenabletenability on Thesaurus.com

  1. capable of being held, maintained, or defended, as against attack or dispute: a tenable theory.

  2. 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

Other words for tenable

Other words from tenable

  • ten·a·bil·i·ty, ten·a·ble·ness, noun
  • ten·a·bly, adverb
  • non·ten·a·bil·i·ty, noun
  • non·ten·a·ble, adjective
  • non·ten·a·ble·ness, noun
  • non·ten·a·bly, adverb

Words Nearby tenable

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use tenable in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tenable


/ (ˈtɛnəbəl) /

  1. able to be upheld, believed, maintained, or defended

Origin of tenable

C16: from Old French, from tenir to hold, from Latin tenēre

Derived forms of tenable

  • tenability or tenableness, noun
  • tenably, 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