adjective \ˈten-yə-wəs, -yü-əs\

: not certain, definite, or strong : flimsy, weak, or uncertain

: very thin

Full Definition of TENUOUS

:  not dense :  rare <a tenuous fluid>
:  not thick :  slender <a tenuous rope>
a :  having little substance or strength :  flimsy, weak <tenuous influences>
b :  shaky 2a <tenuous reasons>
ten·u·ous·ly adverb
ten·u·ous·ness noun

Examples of TENUOUS

  1. He has a tenuous grasp on reality.
  2. The local theater has had a tenuous existence in recent years.
  3. He could demonstrate only a tenuous claim to ownership.
  4. What is also true is that they, and I, were lucky, through genes or fate, to surge through the maelstrom of dashed hope and denied opportunity to grasp a tenuous piece of the American Dream. —Anthony Walton, Lure and Loathing, 1993

Origin of TENUOUS

Latin tenuis thin, slight, tenuous — more at thin
First Known Use: 1597

Rhymes with TENUOUS


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