[ tuh-ney-shuhs ]
/ təˈneɪ ʃəs /


holding fast; characterized by keeping a firm hold (often followed by of): a tenacious grip on my arm; tenacious of old habits.
highly retentive: a tenacious memory.
pertinacious, persistent, stubborn, or obstinate.
adhesive or sticky; viscous or glutinous.
holding together; cohesive; not easily pulled asunder; tough.

Origin of tenacious

First recorded in 1600–10; tenaci(ty) + -ous

Related forms

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

Examples from the Web for tenacious

British Dictionary definitions for tenacious


/ (tɪˈneɪʃəs) /


holding or grasping firmly; forcefula tenacious grip
retentivea tenacious memory
stubborn or persistenta tenacious character
holding together firmly; tough or cohesivetenacious cement
tending to stick or adheretenacious mud

Derived Forms

tenaciously, adverbtenaciousness or tenacity (tɪˈnæsɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for tenacious

C16: from Latin tenāx, from tenēre to hold
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

Medicine definitions for tenacious


[ tə-nāshəs ]


Clinging to another object or surface; adhesive.
Holding together firmly; cohesive.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.