- thin or slender in form, as a thread.
- lacking a sound basis, as reasoning; unsubstantiated; weak: a tenuous argument.
- thin in consistency; rare or rarefied.
- of slight importance or significance; unsubstantial: He holds a rather tenuous position in history.
- lacking in clarity; vague: He gave a rather tenuous account of his past life.
Origin of tenuous
SynonymsSee more synonyms for tenuous on Thesaurus.com
- insignificant or flimsya tenuous argument
- slim, fine, or delicatea tenuous thread
- diluted or rarefied in consistency or densitya tenuous fluid
Word Origin and History for untenuous
1590s, irregularly formed from Latin tenuis "thin," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch" (cf. Sanskrit tanuh "thin," literally "stretched out;" see tenet) + -ous. The correct form with respect to the Latin is tenuious. The sense of "having slight importance, not substantial" is found from c.1817.