[ tuh-ney-shuhs ]
See synonyms for: tenacioustenaciouslytenaciousness on Thesaurus.com

  1. holding fast; characterized by keeping a firm hold (often followed by of): a tenacious grip on my arm; tenacious of old habits.

  2. highly retentive: a tenacious memory.

  1. persistent, stubborn, or obstinate.

  2. adhesive or sticky; viscous or glutinous.

  3. holding together; cohesive; not easily pulled asunder; tough.

Origin of tenacious

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

Other words for tenacious

Other words from tenacious

  • te·na·cious·ly, adverb
  • te·na·cious·ness, noun
  • o·ver·te·na·cious, adjective
  • o·ver·te·na·cious·ness, noun
  • un·te·na·cious, adjective
  • un·te·na·cious·ness, noun

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

How to use tenacious in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tenacious


/ (tɪˈneɪʃəs) /

  1. holding or grasping firmly; forceful: a tenacious grip

  2. retentive: a tenacious memory

  1. stubborn or persistent: a tenacious character

  2. holding together firmly; tough or cohesive: tenacious cement

  3. tending to stick or adhere: tenacious mud

Origin of tenacious

C16: from Latin tenāx, from tenēre to hold

Derived forms of tenacious

  • tenaciously, adverb
  • tenaciousness or tenacity (tɪˈnæsɪtɪ), noun

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