[ ten-uh-buhl ]
/ ˈtɛn ə bəl /


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

Related forms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tenable

British Dictionary definitions for tenable


/ (ˈtɛnəbəl) /


able to be upheld, believed, maintained, or defended

Derived Forms

tenability or tenableness, nountenably, adverb

Word Origin for tenable

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