1

tenant

noun ten·ant \ ˈte-nənt \
Updated on: 20 Nov 2017

Definition of tenant

1 a : one who has the occupation or temporary possession of lands or tenements of another; specifically : one who rents or leases a dwelling (such as a house) from a landlord
b : one who holds or possesses real estate or sometimes personal property (such as a security) by any kind of right

tenantless

play \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of tenant in a Sentence

  1. A tenant is now leasing the apartment.

  2. the laundry in the basement is for tenants only

Recent Examples of tenant from the Web

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

tenets vs. tenants

Thanks to its confusingly similar pronunciation, tenant (“occupant, land-holder”) is sometimes erroneously used in place of tenet (“principle, doctrine”). Consider this example:

One of the ancient tenants of the Buddist [sic] belief is, “He who sits still, wins” –Police, January/February 1968

You will probably never make the opposite mistake (that is, substitute tenet for tenant), but if you think you might, remember that tenant and occupant both end in -ant.

Origin and Etymology of tenant

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from present participle of tenir to hold

tenant Synonyms

Synonyms
boarder, lessee, lodger, renter, roomer
Antonyms
landlord, lessor, letter
Related Words
cotenant, subtenant; flatmate [chiefly British], roommate (also roomie); guest, visitor; occupant, occupier, resident, resider
Near Antonyms
laird [chiefly Scottish], landholder, landowner, proprietor; landlady; slumlord; host, innkeeper, proprietor

2

tenant

verb

Definition of tenant

transitive verb
: to hold or occupy as or as if as a tenant : inhabit

tenantable

play \-nən-tə-bəl\ adjective

Recent Examples of tenant from the Web

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

First Known Use of tenant

1634



TENANT Defined for English Language Learners

tenant

noun

Definition of tenant for English Language Learners

  • : a person, business, group, etc., that pays to use another person's property : someone who rents or leases a house, apartment, etc., from a landlord


TENANT Defined for Kids

1

tenant

noun ten·ant \ ˈte-nənt \

Definition of tenant for Students

: a person or business that rents property from its owner

2

tenant

verb

Definition of tenant for Students

tenanted; tenanting
: to hold or live in as a renter

Law Dictionary

tenant

noun ten·ant \ ˈte-nənt \

legal Definition of tenant

: one who holds or possesses property by any kind of right : one who holds a tenancy in property; specifically : one who possesses property in exchange for payment of rent — see also lessee — compare tenancy

Origin and Etymology of tenant

Anglo-French, from Old French, from present participle of tenir to hold, from Latin tenēre


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