adjective te·na·cious \tə-ˈnā-shəs\

: not easily stopped or pulled apart : firm or strong

: continuing for a long time

: very determined to do something

Full Definition of TENACIOUS

a :  not easily pulled apart :  cohesive <a tenacious metal>
b :  tending to adhere or cling especially to another substance <tenacious burs>
a :  persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired <a tenacious advocate of civil rights> <tenacious negotiators>
b :  retentive <a tenacious memory>
te·na·ci·ous·ly adverb
te·na·cious·ness noun

Examples of TENACIOUS

  1. The company has a tenacious hold on the market.
  2. <a tenacious trainer, she adheres to her grueling swimming schedule no matter what>
  3. But raw capitalism has also proved tenacious, evolving its own means of endlessly restimulating consumption … —Nicholas Fraser, Harper's, November 2003


Latin tenac-, tenax tending to hold fast, from tenēre to hold
First Known Use: 1607

Synonym Discussion of TENACIOUS

strong, stout, sturdy, stalwart, tough, tenacious mean showing power to resist or to endure. strong may imply power derived from muscular vigor, large size, structural soundness, intellectual or spiritual resources <strong arms> <the defense has a strong case>. stout suggests an ability to endure stress, pain, or hard use without giving way <stout hiking boots>. sturdy implies strength derived from vigorous growth, determination of spirit, solidity of construction <a sturdy table> <people of sturdy independence>. stalwart suggests an unshakable dependability <stalwart environmentalists>. tough implies great firmness and resiliency <a tough political opponent>. tenacious suggests strength in seizing, retaining, clinging to, or holding together <tenacious farmers clinging to an age-old way of life>.
TENACIOUS Defined for Kids


adjective te·na·cious \tə-ˈnā-shəs\

Definition of TENACIOUS for Kids

:  persistent <a tenacious fighter>
:  not easily pulled apart

Word Root of TENACIOUS

The Latin words tenēre, meaning to hold, gives us the roots ten and tain. Words from the Latin tenēre have something to do with holding. Something tenacious holds on and is not easily gotten rid of. To contain is to hold things together inside. To obtain is to get hold of. To retain is to continue to hold.
Medical Dictionary


adjective te·na·cious \tə-ˈnā-shəs\

Medical Definition of TENACIOUS

:  tending to adhere or cling especially to another substance :  viscous <coughed up 150 cc. of thick tenacious sputum—Journal of the American Medical Association>


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