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

Definition of tenacity

: the quality or state of being tenacious

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
Recent Examples on the Web Strange views crisis and injustice, like so much else, with a sanguine tenacity. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 12 May 2022 Meet these young journalists who, along with their colleagues, have shown bravery, tenacity, sensitivity and strength while reporting on a brutal war in their home country. Marty Swant, Forbes, 3 May 2022 The bone-deep familiarity of the songs and busy, high-stepping tenacity of the cast provide more than enough candy to keep the show aloft for more than two and a half hours. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, 25 Apr. 2022 Aerobic capacity, power, strength, muscular endurance, biomechanics, strategy, tenacity, and good genes—none of which are necessarily visible to the human eye—all determine an athlete’s ability. Christine Yu, Outside Online, 8 Mar. 2022 Until that is fixed, Americans should expect to continue to find only the rarest of athletes, like Mikaela Shiffrin, with the tenacity, skill and parental support to become world-class ski racers. WSJ, 28 Feb. 2022 After Wednesday's win over Valley United, Schantz believed that his squad did not play with the tenacity and urgency that epitomized their most recent USL victory, a 2-0 triumph over San Antonio FC on the road. Drew Schott, The Arizona Republic, 9 Apr. 2022 His courage, tenacity and humility became hallmarks. Washington Post, 1 Oct. 2021 But the adversity brought out the courage and tenacity of her library staff who stepped up to do all kinds of jobs helping folks across the county. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Apr. 2021 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

27 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tenacity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tenacity. Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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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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