[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. tena koe,
  2. tena korua,
  3. tena koutou,
  4. tenable,
  5. tenace,
  6. tenaciously,
  7. tenacity,
  8. tenaculum,
  9. tenaculum forceps,
  10. tenafly

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 tenaciousness

British Dictionary definitions for tenaciousness


/ (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 Formstenaciously, 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

Word Origin and History for tenaciousness



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for tenaciousness


[ 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.