tent

1 of 3

noun

1
: a collapsible shelter of fabric (such as nylon or canvas) stretched and sustained by poles and used for camping outdoors or as a temporary building
2
3
a
: something that resembles a tent or that serves as a shelter
especially : a canopy or enclosure placed over the head and shoulders to retain vapors or oxygen being medically administered
b
: the web of a tent caterpillar
tentless adjective
tentlike adjective

tent

2 of 3

verb (1)

tented; tenting; tents

intransitive verb

1
: to reside for the time being : lodge
2
: to live in a tent

transitive verb

1
: to cover with or as if with a tent
2
: to lodge in tents

tent

3 of 3

verb (2)

tented; tenting; tents

transitive verb

chiefly Scotland
: to attend to

Examples of tent in a Sentence

Noun a huge tent was erected for the outdoor wedding reception
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The talks came as the United Nations, the United States and other countries have expressed increasing alarm about the prospect of an Israeli incursion into Rafah on the southern edge of Gaza, where about 1.4 million people are sheltering, many in tents, without adequate food, water and medicine. Michael Levenson, New York Times, 13 Feb. 2024 The canvas safari-style tents are bolstered by wooden framing and set on a giant platform. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 13 Feb. 2024 Rafah had a prewar population of roughly 280,000, and according to the United Nations is now home to about 1.4 million additional people living with relatives, in shelters or in sprawling tent camps after fleeing fighting elsewhere in Gaza. Josef Federman, arkansasonline.com, 10 Feb. 2024 The bigger crime, however, is a luxury development that lies empty as thousands inhabit shanties and tents in the streets below. Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times, 10 Feb. 2024 Young also recommends setting the tent next to a hillside or behind a vehicle to create a protective barrier from the wind. Maura Fox, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Feb. 2024 The amount of tents that came into Gaza was not enough. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 9 Feb. 2024 Many are living in unsanitary conditions in tents or makeshift structures, struggling to find food or receive medical treatment. Susannah George, Washington Post, 7 Feb. 2024 The tents, which can be up to 200 square feet in size, would house an entire family or two, the aid worker said. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, 3 Feb. 2024
Verb
Overlooking the backyard, a furnished covered patio can be used year-round, while 5,000 square feet of terracing includes an outdoor kitchen, fire pit, swimming pool, and tented cabana that’s complete with a television. Mark David, Robb Report, 14 Feb. 2024 Standalone tented suites as well as a two-bedroom villa sit in perfect harmony with the valley, while rafting and kayaking await beyond. Juliet Kinsman, Condé Nast Traveler, 1 Feb. 2024 Held in place by clothespins, the covers can be suspended from roof gutters and tented over tender plants close to the house. Debbie Arrington, Sacramento Bee, 31 Jan. 2024 Bake coffee cake: Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes, tenting with foil after 35 minutes if needed to prevent excessive browning. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 31 Dec. 2023 If the skin begins to darken too much, tent the turkey loosely with aluminum foil. Sean Sherman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Nov. 2023 Its bumper was almost fully detached; its hood was tented; some of its airbags had deployed. WIRED, 17 Nov. 2023 Pour the filling into the crust and bake on the lowest rack until set, 40 to 45 minutes, tenting with foil if the top or crust get too dark. Genevieve Ko, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Nov. 2023 Continue roasting until skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh but not touching the bone registers 165°, 1 hour to 1½ hours longer, tenting with foil as needed to prevent overbrowning. Sabrina Weiss, Peoplemag, 13 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English tent, tente "collapsible shelter of animal skins or fabric used by nomads, shelter, dwelling," borrowed from Anglo-French tente, going back to Vulgar Latin *tenta, noun derivative from feminine of Latin tentus, tensus, past participle of tendere "to extend outward, stretch" (or from Vulgar Latin *tendita, re-formation of the participle) — more at tender entry 3

Verb (1)

derivative of tent entry 1

Verb (2)

Middle English tenten "to look after, see to, watch over," noun derivative of tent, tente "intention, purpose, heed," short for entente, intente intent entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

circa 1608, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tent was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near tent

Cite this Entry

“Tent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tent. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

tent

1 of 2 noun
1
: a portable shelter (as of nylon) stretched and supported by poles
2
a
: something that resembles a tent or that serves as a shelter
especially : an enclosure placed over the head and shoulders to hold in oxygen or vapors given for medical reasons
an oxygen tent
b
: the web of a tent caterpillar

tent

2 of 2 verb
1
: to live in a tent
2
: to cover with or as if with a tent

Medical Definition

tent

noun
: a canopy or enclosure placed over the head and shoulders to retain vapors or oxygen during medical administration

More from Merriam-Webster on tent

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