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 The majestic monument — a testament to human tenacity — scars land considered sacred by Native Americans. Washington Post, "Trump got his crowd and his fireworks, and peddled his fiction," 23 June 2020 Kai's stubbornness and tenacity resonated with the young actress, who knows a thing or two about breaking from tradition in favor of a better method. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "Miss Juneteenth Is The Timely Narrative We Need Right Now," 19 June 2020 She is also known for her patience to explain the entire process, and her veracity and tenacity. Rebecca Maitland, Houston Chronicle, "Realtor of the Week: Matson a top Realtor focusing on Spring area," 6 June 2020 She is known for her tenacity, honesty, compassion, respect for others, sincerity and her drive for optimal results for clients. Rebecca Maitland, Houston Chronicle, "Realtor of the Week: Martinez knows the importance of home," 13 June 2020 That being said, there are five different difficulties to choose from that affect aspects like ammo scarcity and enemy tenacity. Benjamin Levin, CNN Underscored, "First impressions of The Last of Us Part II make us want more," 12 June 2020 Such was his tenacity that by the time of his premature death at age 42, Albert was widely regarded as a forward-thinking reformer whose innovative ideas transformed the fortunes of the nation and created a legacy that lives on today. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Prince Albert: A Victorian Hero Revealed," 2 June 2020 The Warriors, though sloppy at times, are playing with tenacity at a time when other teams might acquiesce to defeat. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors have plenty of reasons for optimism after loss to Suns," 12 Feb. 2020 This relatively adverse circumstance seemed to endow her with a tenacity and resilience that became lifelong and was an inspiration to her four children and all who knew her. courant.com, "Margaret E. Crombie," 4 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for tenacity

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for tenacity

Last Updated

13 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tenacity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tenacity. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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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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