\ ˈtench How to pronounce tench (audio) \
plural tench or tenches

Definition of tench

: a cyprinid fish (Tinca tinca) native to Eurasia but introduced in the U.S. and noted for its ability to survive in poorly oxygenated waters

First Known Use of tench

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tench

Middle English tenche, borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Late Latin tinca, of obscure origin

Note: The earliest occurrence of the Latin word tinca is in a catalog of fishes in the poem Mosella, a description of the river Moselle by the 4th-century poet and rhetorician Ausonius, born in Burgidala (Bordeaux). Tinca also occurs as a proper name in Cicero and Quintilian, applied to individuals from northern Italy. These localizations might indicate Gaulish origin, but the etymon tinca has outcomes throughout the Western Romance area, including Sardinia and southern Italy, where there was no Gaulish substratum.

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The first known use of tench was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Tench.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tench. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on tench

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tench


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