te·​nac·​i·​ty | \ tə-ˈna-sə-tē How to pronounce tenacity (audio) \

Definition of tenacity

: the quality or state of being tenacious

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Choose the Right Synonym for tenacity

courage, mettle, spirit, resolution, tenacity mean mental or moral strength to resist opposition, danger, or hardship. courage implies firmness of mind and will in the face of danger or extreme difficulty. the courage to support unpopular causes mettle suggests an ingrained capacity for meeting strain or difficulty with fortitude and resilience. a challenge that will test your mettle spirit also suggests a quality of temperament enabling one to hold one's own or keep up one's morale when opposed or threatened. her spirit was unbroken by failure resolution stresses firm determination to achieve one's ends. the resolution of pioneer women tenacity adds to resolution implications of stubborn persistence and unwillingness to admit defeat. held to their beliefs with great tenacity

Examples of tenacity in a Sentence

If there is a particular tenacity in Islamist forms of terrorism today, this is a product not of Islamic scripture but of the current historical circumstance that many Muslims live in places of intense political conflict. — Max Rodenbeck, New York Book Review, 30 Nov. 2006 … everything about a person, even the most blameless of facts, can have the sticky tenacity of a secret. — Anthony Lane, New Yorker, 12 Aug. 2002 A tribute to tenacity, the free ascent of Trango Tower was the fulfillment of a cowboy climber's dream. — Todd Skinner, National Geographic, April 1996
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Recent Examples on the Web

To many Egyptians, his long and illustrious career has been like the stuff of folkloric tales of tenacity and resolve. Hemza Hendawi, chicagotribune.com, "Chances of making history fading for Egypt keeper El Hadary," 16 June 2018 Previous versions of the Capitals were more talented than this group but never achieved this balance of staunch defense and explosive scoring and never enjoyed this mix of tenacity and hunger. Helene Elliott, latimes.com, "Capitals are one win away from the Stanley Cup after running wild over Golden Knights 6-2," 5 June 2018 Hennessy is among the Owls’ most intelligent linemen and has the type of tenacity that enables him to win one-on-one blocking battles. Marc Narducci, Philly.com, "Temple football center Matt Hennessy ready to expand on a strong first season," 23 Mar. 2018 After Allen's setback, the Pelicans responded by signing forward DeAndre Liggins to a 10-day contract on Wednesday in hopes of providing the team with some of the defensive tenacity that Allen was expected to bring. William Guillory, NOLA.com, "Tony Allen suffers setback, expected to miss another 2-4 weeks with leg injury," 11 Jan. 2018 Her track record is a testament to her special tenacity, but also to how incredibly resilient humans can be. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s incredible ability to bounce back," 14 Dec. 2018 As always, everyone here at WSJ Sports is grateful to our readers, for their loyalty to our coverage and their tenacity in playing in all touch football conditions. Jason Gay, WSJ, "WSJ Readers React: The 2018 Thanksgiving Touch Football Gallery," 26 Nov. 2018 But the growing popularity of sport-utility vehicles and air travel point to the tenacity of China’s oil demand. Chuin-wei Yap And Kara Dapena, WSJ, "Tariff Dispute Threatens China’s Thirst for U.S. Oil," 24 July 2018 The rebounding and defensive tenacity have been constants. Barry Jackson, miamiherald, "Mixed offensive results for Bam Adebayo in summer league," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tenacity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tenacity

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tenacity

Middle English tenacite, borrowed from Middle French tenacité, borrowed from Latin tenācitāt-, tenācitās, from tenāc-, tenāx "holding fast, tenacious" + -itāt- -itās -ity

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Last Updated

25 Apr 2019

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The first known use of tenacity was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for tenacity


te·​nac·​i·​ty | \ tə-ˈna-sə-tē How to pronounce tenacity (audio) \

Kids Definition of tenacity

: the quality or state of being persistent The dog held his bone with tenacity.

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