ten·​der·​loin | \ ˈten-dər-ˌlȯin How to pronounce tenderloin (audio) \

Definition of tenderloin

1 : a strip of tender meat consisting of a large internal muscle of the loin on each side of the vertebral column
2 [from its making possible a luxurious diet for a corrupt police officer] : a district of a city largely devoted to vice

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Did You Know?

A tenderloin, of course, is a juicy and tasty cut of meat. In the late 19th century, however, Tenderloin saw use as a nickname for the neighborhood of midtown Manhattan, west of Broadway and below 42nd Street. This district, which contained numerous bordellos, gambling houses, and watering holes, alongside theaters and hotels, became a hotbed of corruption - and, it was alleged by some, blackmail by police. The notion of dishonest law enforcers being able to afford a nice meal off activity in this district is believed to have given the Tenderloin its name. Soon the term was applied to similarly seedy districts in other cities.

Examples of tenderloin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At the Liberty Hotel’s flagship restaurant (215 Charles St. at Fruit Street), Lydia Shire oversees a $130 Valentine’s Day four-course feast with ravioli, Chilean sea bass, veal chops, beef tenderloin, lobster, and other indulgences. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, "Where to celebrate Valentine’s Day," 5 Feb. 2021 Using the point of your knife, carefully separate the tenderloin from the spine on both ends, and gently pull it out of the animal. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, "How to Clean Big Game with the Gutless Method," 20 Nov. 2020 Dinners such as pork tenderloin and chili are prepped and packaged for quick reheating. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, "Aberration or apparition? Ghost kitchens could replace your favorite haunt," 26 Jan. 2021 The pork tenderloin sandwich was fried in a light batter and brightened with red onions pickled with habaneros. New York Times, "The Treasured Diners and Hidden Haunts That Covid-19 Closed for Good," 27 Dec. 2020 The menu includes holiday appetizers and side dishes along with full dinner packages, featuring porchetta and whole roasted beef tenderloin, salmon and lobster. Leeanne Griffin, courant.com, "Connecticut restaurants offer Christmas Eve, Christmas Day dining and takeout options," 10 Dec. 2020 Relying on only her smartphone and church volunteers, she's grown her work beyond the city limits, passing out Christmas dinners of mashed potatoes and pork tenderloin for 170 families from Maple Grove to Hastings this month. Kelly Smith, Star Tribune, "Grassroots efforts spring up to help Twin Cities families in need," 24 Dec. 2020 The last catering job before the pandemic was a big one, complete with a pork tenderloin carving station, cherry marmalade and tarragon aioli, pimento-cheese finger sandwiches, and a shrimp cocktail display with an ice sculpture. Elizabeth Merrill, History & Culture, "‘We still care.’ Minnesota’s food industry shifts gears to feed the most vulnerable," 21 Dec. 2020 The menu includes herbed and brined turkey, beef tenderloin, curry butternut squash, apple sausage and rosemary ciabatta stuffing, Brussels sprouts salad, kale salad with apple, charcuterie boards, orange-cranberry sauce and pies. Audrey Eads, Dallas News, "50-plus D-FW restaurants and grocers offering holiday takeout meals," 14 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tenderloin.' 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 tenderloin

circa 1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for tenderloin Time Traveler

The first known use of tenderloin was circa 1828

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Last Updated

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tenderloin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tenderloin. Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of tenderloin

: a piece of very tender meat from the back of a cow or pig

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