tenet

noun te·net \ ˈte-nət also ˈtē-nət \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of tenet

: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

Recent Examples of tenet from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tenet.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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


TENET Defined for English Language Learners

tenet

noun

Definition of tenet for English Language Learners

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



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to praise usually to excess

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