tenet

play
noun te·net \ˈte-nət also ˈtē-nət\

Definition of tenet

  1. :  a principle, belief, or doctrine generally held to be true; especially :  one held in common by members of an organization, movement, or profession

tenet was our Word of the Day on 01/20/2017. Hear the podcast!

Examples of tenet in a sentence

  1. the central tenets of a religion

  2. one of the basic tenets of the fashion industry

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.

Origin and Etymology of tenet

Latin, he holds, from tenēre to hold


First Known Use: circa 1600


TENET Defined for English Language Learners

tenet

play
noun te·net \ˈte-nət also ˈtē-nət\

Definition of tenet for English Language Learners

  • : a belief or idea that is very important to a group



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