[ ten-uhnt ]
See synonyms for: tenanttenantedtenantingtenants on Thesaurus.com

  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.

  1. 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

Other words from tenant

  • ten·ant·a·ble, adjective
  • ten·ant·less, adjective
  • ten·ant·like, adjective
  • non·ten·ant, noun
  • non·ten·ant·a·ble, adjective
  • un·ten·ant·a·ble, adjective
  • un·ten·ant·ed, adjective

Words that may be confused with tenant

Words Nearby tenant

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

How to use tenant in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tenant


/ (ˈtɛnənt) /

  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

  1. any holder or occupant

  1. (tr) to hold (land or property) as a tenant

  2. (intr foll by in) rare to dwell

Origin of tenant

C14: from Old French, literally: (one who is) holding, from tenir to hold, from Latin tenēre

Derived forms of tenant

  • tenantable, adjective
  • tenantless, adjective
  • tenant-like, adjective

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