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See more synonyms for tenacious 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.
  3. pertinacious, persistent, stubborn, or obstinate.
  4. adhesive or sticky; viscous or glutinous.
  5. holding together; cohesive; not easily pulled asunder; tough.
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Origin of tenacious

First recorded in 1600–10; tenaci(ty) + -ous
Related formste·na·cious·ly, adverbte·na·cious·ness, nouno·ver·te·na·cious, adjectiveo·ver·te·na·cious·ly, adverbo·ver·te·na·cious·ness, nounun·te·na·cious, adjectiveun·te·na·cious·ly, adverbun·te·na·cious·ness, noun


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
3. opinionated, dogged. 4. clinging.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tenaciousness

Historical Examples

  • Reivers with more than human tenaciousness had retained a glimmer of consciousness.

    The Snow-Burner

    Henry Oyen

  • "Certainly, sir, you are gifted with tenaciousness," cried the captain.

    The Waif of the "Cynthia"

    Andr Laurie and Jules Verne

  • I did not know his tenaciousness of titles—he was an esquire also—which was my first unpardonable offence.

  • And now that I hope you are better, with what tenaciousness does it cling to you!

  • He thought the tenaciousness of approaching the Treasury was carried too far in the present instance.

British Dictionary definitions for tenaciousness


  1. holding or grasping firmly; forcefula tenacious grip
  2. retentivea tenacious memory
  3. stubborn or persistenta tenacious character
  4. holding together firmly; tough or cohesivetenacious cement
  5. tending to stick or adheretenacious mud
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Derived Formstenaciously, adverbtenaciousness or tenacity (tɪˈnæsɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for tenaciousness



c.1600, from Latin tenaci-, from tenax "holding fast" (see tenacity). Related: Tenaciously; tenaciousness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tenaciousness in Medicine


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