tenant

[ten-uh nt]
See more synonyms for tenant on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a person or group that rents and occupies land, a house, an office, or the like, from another for a period of time; lessee.
  2. Law. a person who holds or possesses for a time lands, tenements, or personalty of another, usually for rent.
  3. an occupant or inhabitant of any place.
verb (used with object)
  1. to hold or occupy as a tenant; dwell in; inhabit.
verb (used without object)
  1. to dwell or live (usually followed by in).

Origin of tenant

1250–1300; Middle English tena(u)nt < Anglo-French; Middle French tenant, noun use of present participle of tenir to hold ≪ Latin tenēre. See -ant
Related formsten·ant·a·ble, adjectiveten·ant·less, adjectiveten·ant·like, adjectivenon·ten·ant, nounnon·ten·ant·a·ble, adjectiveun·ten·ant·a·ble, adjectiveun·ten·ant·ed, adjective
Can be confusedtenant tenet
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for tenant

Contemporary Examples of tenant

  • But the law itself is hard to enforce unless there is a specific complaint about a tenant.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Inside Uber’s Political War Machine

    Olivia Nuzzi

    June 30, 2014

  • Phineas has just suffered the defeat of his bill to strengthen the rights of Irish tenant farmers.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Case for Trollope

    David Frum

    February 5, 2013

  • It occurs after Phineas has just suffered the defeat of his bill to improve the condition of Irish tenant farmers.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Trollope v Hardy

    David Frum

    January 28, 2013

  • He said to police, the tenant's "face could have run into my hand."

    The Daily Beast logo
    Rift Imperils Ground Zero Mosque

    Asra Q. Nomani

    August 30, 2010

  • In another instance, Sharif told a court he didn't hit a tenant from whom his brother and he were trying to collect back rent.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Rift Imperils Ground Zero Mosque

    Asra Q. Nomani

    August 30, 2010

Historical Examples of tenant


British Dictionary definitions for tenant

tenant

noun
  1. a person who holds, occupies, or possesses land or property by any kind of right or title, esp from a landlord under a lease
  2. a person who has the use of a house, flat, etc, subject to the payment of rent
  3. any holder or occupant
verb
  1. (tr) to hold (land or property) as a tenant
  2. (intr foll by in) rare to dwell
Derived Formstenantable, adjectivetenantless, adjectivetenant-like, adjective

Word Origin for tenant

C14: from Old French, literally: (one who is) holding, 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

Word Origin and History for tenant
n.

early 14c., "person who holds lands by title or by lease," from Anglo-French tenaunt (late 13c.), Old French tenant (12c.), noun use of present participle of tenir "to hold," from Latin tenere "hold, keep" (see tenet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper