tenderfoot

noun

ten·​der·​foot ˈten-dər-ˌfu̇t How to pronounce tenderfoot (audio)
plural tenderfeet ˈten-dər-ˌfēt How to pronounce tenderfoot (audio) also tenderfoots ˈten-dər-ˌfu̇ts How to pronounce tenderfoot (audio)
1
: an inexperienced beginner : novice
a political tenderfoot
2
: a newcomer in a comparatively rough or newly settled region
especially : one not hardened to frontier or outdoor life

Examples of tenderfoot in a Sentence

skateboarders who are tenderfeet will inevitably fall as they learn their first moves
Recent Examples on the Web The tenderfoot Americans, with six rookies, eight guys yet to reach 30, and minimal scar tissue, won three of four foursomes in the morning to get to 9-3 and two of four fourball rounds in the afternoon to reach 11-5. BostonGlobe.com, 25 Sep. 2021 Once upon a time, the members of a whitetail deer hunting club in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula invited a tenderfoot to their camp. The Editors, Field & Stream, 11 Oct. 2020 But even a tenderfoot can easily corral yeast and put it to use, because yeast is everywhere. Henry Fountain, New York Times, 7 May 2020 Lazaria Spearman School: Dacula High Class: 2022 Position: Forward College: Undecided Noteworthy: The 6-foot-2 tenderfoot averaged 17 points and 14 rebounds per game to help the Falcons to a 26-4 record. USA TODAY, 22 Apr. 2020 But like a tenderfoot scout who confidently builds a campfire only to end up burning down the forest, Kalanick’s loose management — of his staff and himself — paved the way for a cascade of embarrassing scandals by 2014. Los Angeles Times, 5 Sep. 2019 The film stars Robert Pattinson as Samuel Alabaster, a foppishly dressed tenderfoot who shows up on the Oregon territory with miniature horse named Butterscotch, looking to hire a preacher (David Zellner) for a wedding. Gary Thompson, Philly.com, 27 June 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tenderfoot.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of tenderfoot was in 1849

Dictionary Entries Near tenderfoot

Cite this Entry

“Tenderfoot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tenderfoot. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

tenderfoot

noun
ten·​der·​foot ˈten-dər-ˌfu̇t How to pronounce tenderfoot (audio)
plural tenderfeet -ˌfēt How to pronounce tenderfoot (audio) also tenderfoots -ˌfu̇ts How to pronounce tenderfoot (audio)
1
: a person who is not hardened to a rough outdoor life
2
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