Simple Definition of tenuous
: not certain, definite, or strong : flimsy, weak, or uncertain
: very thin
Examples of tenuous in a sentence
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
After the end of the crusading period, however relations between East and West had grown tenuous … —Albert Hourani, Islam in European Thought, 1991
The authors follow researchers as they use the slimmest leads and the most tenuous connections to track the genes for Huntington's disease, muscular dystrophy, schizophrenia and a host of other physical and mental miseries. —Natalie Angier, New York Times Book Review, 12 Aug. 1990
He has a tenuous grasp on reality.
The local theater has had a tenuous existence in recent years.
He could demonstrate only a tenuous claim to ownership.
Did You Know?
Something tenuous has been stretched thin and might break at any time. A person with a tenuous hold on his sanity should be watched carefully. If a business is only tenuously surviving, it will probably go bankrupt in the next recession. If there seems to be only a tenuous connection between two crimes, it means the investigators have more work to do.
Origin and Etymology of tenuous
Latin tenuis thin, slight, tenuous — more at thin
First Known Use: 1597
Synonym Discussion of tenuous
Seen and Heard
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