tenant

noun
ten·​ant | \ ˈte-nənt How to pronounce tenant (audio) \

Definition of tenant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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

tenant

verb
tenanted; tenanting; tenants

Definition of tenant (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

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Other Words from tenant

Noun

tenantless \ ˈte-​nənt-​ləs How to pronounce tenantless (audio) \ adjective

Verb

tenantable \ ˈte-​nən-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce tenantable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for tenant

Synonyms: Noun

boarder, lessee, lodger, renter, roomer

Antonyms: Noun

landlord, lessor, letter

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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.

Examples of tenant in a Sentence

Noun

A tenant is now leasing the apartment. the laundry in the basement is for tenants only

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Inspectors should be required to get a warrant or a tenant’s consent to enter a private residence. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Seattle’s mandatory rental inspection law challenged in lawsuit," 6 Dec. 2018 By early 2019, travelers will get their first glimpse of the new LaGuardia with the opening of the first part of the Central Terminal concourse, whose airline tenants include Southwest Airlines, Air Canada, American, United, and Spirit. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "New York's Airports Are Getting Billion-Dollar Makeovers—But What Will They Actually Change?," 21 Nov. 2018 The existing tenants include a law office, an escape room business and a thrift store. Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, "Real estate manager has bought 14 buildings in Elgin in 4 years — he's 'taking a bet' on the city," 13 July 2018 Today, major tenants include Foley Carrier Services, an adviser to the transport industry; JCJ Architecture; and the Capitol Region Education Council. Kenneth R. Gosselin, courant.com, "Renovations Begin In Last Major Structure At Hartford's Colt Complex," 11 July 2018 Other announced tenants include business consulting firm RSM and co-working provider E|Spaces. Bill Zimmerman, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Drop in Metro Orlando office occupancies could get worse, analyst says," 11 July 2018 Other anchor tenants in the 920,845-square-foot center include Cinemark, Dick's Sporting Goods and Home Depot. Joyce Smith, kansascity, "Merriam Town Center to lose Hen House after 20 years," 10 July 2018 Other tenants include South Palm Gastro Health, Total Vein and Skin Dermatology and the South Florida Gastro Association. Austen Erblat, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Delray Beach medical office building sells for $9.75 million," 6 July 2018 Other major tenants at the Metropolitan include Trader Joe's, Marshalls and Best Buy. Katherine Peralta, charlotteobserver, "A major retailer will close its midtown Charlotte store soon," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

So the building’s financial challenges belong, not to tenant Toll, but to its owners and their creditors. Joseph N. Distefano, Philly.com, "Toll Bros. is a highly profitable luxury homebuilder. So how did its Horsham HQ end up in foreclosure?," 7 June 2018 As a landlord, Vision Property Management has had a reputation of not responding promptly to tenant complaints about major problems with its rent-to-own homes. Matthew Goldstein And Alexandra Stevenson, New York Times, "Vision, Operator of Rent-to-Own Homes, Gets Legislative Scrutiny," 13 Mar. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of tenant

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Verb

1634, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tenant

Noun

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

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Statistics for tenant

Last Updated

4 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tenant

The first known use of tenant was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for tenant

tenant

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tenant

: 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

noun
ten·​ant | \ ˈte-nənt How to pronounce tenant (audio) \

Kids Definition of tenant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person or business that rents property from its owner

tenant

verb
tenanted; tenanting

Kids Definition of tenant (Entry 2 of 2)

: to hold or live in as a renter

tenant

noun
ten·​ant | \ ˈte-nənt How to pronounce tenant (audio) \

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

History and Etymology for tenant

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on tenant

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tenant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tenant

Spanish Central: Translation of tenant

Nglish: Translation of tenant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tenant for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tenant

Comments on tenant

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