- the adult male voice intermediate between the bass and the alto or countertenor.
- a part sung by or written for such a voice, especially the next to the lowest part in four-part harmony.
- a singer with such a voice.
- an instrument corresponding in compass to this voice, especially the viola.
- the lowest-toned bell of a peal.
Origin of tenor
Synonyms for tenor
Related Words for tenortheme, tone, gist, mood, falsetto, purport, trend, course, sense, tendency, current, way, inclination, body, core, direction, run, drift, purpose, burden
Examples from the Web for tenor
Contemporary Examples of tenor
The tenor saxophonist was one of the most imaginatively restless artists to ever work a bandstand.
There was never any one criterion for how every trombone or tenor saxophone or singer should sound.
Feeling the tenor of the day shift, he asked: “Are you okay?”Aubrey Plaza’s Great Disconnect
August 15, 2014
It is the desolation of exiled Tibetans that dominates the tenor here, but it is not the only one.The Real India Revealed
August 6, 2014
Irish tenor Ronan Tynan sang at both services, just as he had so many times in New York after 9/11.Boston and New York’s Bravest Are Brothers Bonded by Tragedy
April 15, 2014
Historical Examples of tenor
O that like thine were the tenor of my life, like thine the tenor of my conversation!The Letters of Robert Burns
The harmonies which you mean are the mixed or tenor Lydian, and the full-toned or bass Lydian, and such like.The Republic
Tall and very dark, he looked unlike the ideal Wagner tenor.Melomaniacs
The tenor of his thoughts caused him to abandon his caution.The Coyote
As the tenor of them may not have been very intelligible, allow me to repeat.
- the male voice intermediate between alto and baritone, having a range approximately from the B a ninth below middle C to the G a fifth above it
- a singer with such a voice
- a saxophone, horn, recorder, etc, intermediate in compass and size between the alto and baritone or bass
- (as modifier)a tenor sax
- (in early polyphonic music) the part singing the melody or the cantus firmus
- (in four-part harmony) the second lowest part lying directly above the bass
- the heaviest and lowest-pitched bell in a ring
- (as modifier)a tenor bell
- the exact words of a deed, etc, as distinct from their effect
- an exact copy or transcript
Word Origin for tenor
c.1300, "general meaning, purpose, drift," from Old French tenour "substance, sense" (13c.), from Latin tenorem (nominative tenor) "contents, course," originally "a holding on," from tenere "to hold" (see tenet). The musical sense of "high male voice" is attested from late 14c., because the sustained melody (canto fermo) was carried by the tenor's part.