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

Reich acknowledged the tenacity of Consciousness II, but never gave up on reaching the next stage. Hillel Italie, latimes.com, "Charles Reich, counterculture author who wrote ‘The Greening of America,’ dies at 91," 18 June 2019 The Golden Knights have worn down teams with their speed, quick passing, and tenacity, but the Capitals play with a physical edge — especially winger Tom Wilson — that might throw Vegas off its game. Sam Carchidi, Philly.com, "Vegas - Vegas! - and Capitals are ready for improbable Stanley Cup Finals," 28 May 2018 Katy fought a courageous battle over the last two and a half years but her tenacity didn't surprise those of us who knew her at 60 Minutes. Jackie Strause, The Hollywood Reporter, "'60 Minutes' Producer Katherine Textor Dies at 45," 15 June 2019 Her tenacity didn’t just begin in her later years at high school. Kyle J. Andrews, baltimoresun.com, "Hereford's Emily Konkus is North County News Female co-Athlete of the Year," 14 June 2019 The tenacity hasn’t changed for the 20-year-old Canadian, who finished his seventh pre-draft workout with the Pacers Friday. Robert General, Indianapolis Star, "Ignas Brazdeikis says questions surrounding his athleticism are ‘a joke’," 7 June 2019 Drag Race underneath it all, is about the tenacity of the human spirit. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Michelle Visage on the "Magical" Future of 'RuPaul's Drag Race'," 7 June 2019 Drag Race is about the tenacity of the human spirit. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, "Say 'Amen!' to RuPaul, your new queen of daytime talk," 5 June 2019 The Israeli military acknowledged that it was surprised by the speed and tenacity of the assault, and by its location. New York Times, "Plan to Storm Fence Gets Bloody Preview in Gaza," 27 Apr. 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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Statistics for tenacity

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for tenacity

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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Comments on tenacity

What made you want to look up tenacity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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