adjective \ˈte-nə-bəl\

: capable of being defended against attack or criticism

Full Definition of TENABLE

:  capable of being held, maintained, or defended :  defensible, reasonable
ten·a·bil·i·ty \ˌte-nə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
ten·a·ble·ness noun
ten·a·bly \ˈte-nə-blē\ adverb

Examples of TENABLE

  1. <the soldiers' encampment on the open plain was not tenable, so they retreated to higher ground>
  2. <the tenable theory that a giant meteor strike set off a chain of events resulting in the demise of the dinosaurs>

Origin of TENABLE

Middle French, from Old French, from tenir to hold, from Latin tenēre — more at thin
First Known Use: 1579


Next Word in the Dictionary: tenace
Previous Word in the Dictionary: Ten'a
All Words Near: tenable

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up tenable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).