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tenet

[ ten-it; British also tee-nit ]
/ ˈtɛn ɪt; British also ˈti nɪt /
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noun

any opinion, principle, doctrine, dogma, etc., especially one held as true by members of a profession, group, or movement.

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Nearby words

tenementary, tenerife, teneriffe, tenesmic, tenesmus, tenet, tenfold, teng hsiao-p'ing, teng hsiao-ping, tenge, tengri khan

Origin of tenet

1590–1600; < Latin: he holds
SYNONYMS FOR tenet
Can be confusedtenant tenet

Pronunciation note

The word tenet , defined here, should not be hard to pronounce. For speakers of American English, say the number ten, then add the pronoun it , and you have tenet , pronounced (ten ʹ it). Unfortunately, there is a similar-looking and similar-sounding word in English that is much more common—the word tenant , meaning someone who rents and occupies an apartment, office, etc. This word is pronounced (ten ʹ ənt), and its pronunciation is frequently used in error by people who intend to say tenet . Because both words involve sequences of the same letters t and n —both of which are pronounced with the tongue in the same place, touching the upper palate—it is easy for the extra n of the more common word tenant to creep into the pronunciation of tenet . With care, one can learn to pronounce these two words differently and appropriately.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for tenet

tenet

/ (ˈtɛnɪt, ˈtiːnɪt) /

noun

a belief, opinion, or dogma

Word Origin for tenet

C17: from Latin, literally: he (it) holds, 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 tenet

tenet


n.

"principle," properly "a thing held (to be true)," early 15c., from Latin tenet "he holds," third person singular present indicative of tenere "to hold, to keep, to maintain" from PIE root *ten- "to stretch" (cf. Sanskrit tantram "loom," tanoti "stretches, lasts;" Persian tar "string;" Lithuanian tankus "compact," i.e. "tightened;" Greek teinein "to stretch," tasis "a stretching, tension," tenos "sinew," tetanos "stiff, rigid," tonos "string," hence "sound, pitch;" Latin tendere "to stretch," tenuis "thin, rare, fine;" Old Church Slavonic tento "cord;" Old English thynne "thin"). Connection notion between "stretch" and "hold" is "to cause to maintain." The modern sense is probably because tenet was used in Medieval Latin to introduce a statement of doctrine.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper