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) \

Definition of tenderfoot

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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of tenderfoot in a Sentence

skateboarders who are tenderfeet will inevitably fall as they learn their first moves
Recent Examples on the Web 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 example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tenderfoot.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of tenderfoot

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About tenderfoot

Time Traveler for tenderfoot

Time Traveler

The first known use of tenderfoot was in 1849

See more words from the same year

Statistics for tenderfoot

Cite this Entry

“Tenderfoot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tenderfoot. Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tenderfoot



English Language Learners Definition of tenderfoot

US, informal
: someone who has just started doing something
: a person who is not used to living in rough conditions or outdoors

More from Merriam-Webster on tenderfoot

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tenderfoot


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!